In recent years, the use of steam mops has dramatically increased in popularity. The ability of these mops to clean floors without harmful chemicals has made them a must have cleaning product in many homes. In addition, their versatility and portability make them great for use in areas of your home that are hard to clean and/or reach. However, with so many options to choose from, how do you know which steam mop will best fit your needs?
Well, first of all you need to narrow down your options, which we can help you with. So don’t go out and buy the first steam mop you see advertised, are there are a few things you need to take into consideration. You don’t want to buy too much or too little. While most steam mops can be used only for cleaning floors, others (through the use of attachments) can be used to clean wall tiles and kitchen/bathroom countertops. Rather than just purchasing a floor steamer with all the bells and whistles, sometimes it’s better to look at the ones that will meet your needs without having too many extraneous parts that you may never have a need for.
After exhaustively analyzing, reviewing and comparing a number of different steam mops, we narrowed it down to the three best models, each of which we considered to be the best in their price range.
Best Overall: Bissell 1543A Symphony Pet Vacuum Steam Mop
The Bissell 1543A Symphony Pet is, in our opinion, the best steam mop currently on the market. This extremely versatile cleaning machine allows you to simultaneously steam clean and vacuum your floors. The Bissell 1543A is especially ideal for pet owners, as you can vacuum pet hair and steam clean dirty messes left by your pets, all with the same machine. Disposing of the pet hair and gunk that collects in the unit’s dirt/dust bin is also made easy, as the bin’s built-in “drop-it” pet hair mechanism allows you to easily “push” the contents of the bin directly into your trash can.
Additionally, this steam mop comes with 2 different types of mop pads: one for every day, routine cleaning and the other which is designed for cleaning up pet poop and urine and can be thrown away after use. The Bissell Symphony Pet also gives you the ability to add scent, either through the use of odor removing scent discs or by using their specially formulated scented water. You’ll also like this steam mop’s easy to use digital controls which allow you to select from 3 different cleaning modes: high volume steam, low volume steam and vacuum alone.
The ability to steam clean your hard floors and then being able to vacuum clean your carpets and rugs immediately after, without having to switch appliances, is truly a timesaver and is why the Bissell 1543A Symphony is our top pick. With a price of just over $150, this steam mop/vacuum cleaner is one of the more expensive units on the market, but is well worth the money if you place a high importance on quality, convenience and ease of use.
Best Multi-Purpose Steam Mop: Oreck Steam-It
The Oreck Steam-It is one of the most versatile steam mops on the market, as it can be used to not only clean floors but areas above the counter as well. It comes with a number of different attachments that allow the user to transform the steam mop into a hand-held steam cleaner. The Oreck Steam-It is fairly lightweight and has a number of great features, including reusable mop pads and a large, refillable water tank that will allow you to clean for up to forty minutes at a time. Another great feature of the Oreck is that it was designed so that you can use any towel or rag laying around your home as a cleaning pad.
The amount of money this feature could potentially save you in the long run should not be overlooked. The Oreck does come with its own mop pads, though, so using your own towels is merely an option and not a requirement. Additionally, the steam that this mop generates dries rapidly and does not leave streaks on your floors. You can also adjust the amount of steam that comes out of it. And as we mentioned earlier, the Oreck doesn’t just clean floors; it can also deodorize and sanitize upholstery, drapes and any other kind of fabric with the same ease. You can even turn the steamer upside down, which will allow you to clean ceiling lights and other overhead fixtures.
Best Value: Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop
If you’re looking to get the best “bang for your buck,” then the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh is the one you want. This a very good all-around steam mop that offers a lot of value for money spent. One of its best features is that it is very lightweight (weighs under 8 lb.), which makes it significantly easier on your back and arms than some of the heavier models (you’ll especially appreciate this fact when going up stairs with your steam mop).
The Bissell Powerfresh is also highly maneuverable, being able to easily bend under counters and around cabinets and corners. The unit also has a built in “scrubber” brush, which can be flipped down with your foot, that is great for clearing away older, tough-to-remove stains. Additionally, the top-mounted water tank is easy to remove and re-fill with water from any sink in your home.
The controls are also fairly simple to use and offer 3 different steam settings, allowing you to adjust the amount of steam that comes out of the mop. Other great features of the Powerfresh is its long 23 foot power cord, scent adding abilities via the use of “fragrance discs” and a solid 2 year warranty, giving you added peace of mind.
One notable downside of the Powerfresh, however, is that it can’t be used with cleaning solutions. We feel this is only a minor disadvantage, though, since cleaning with steam alone will eliminate almost all bacteria and many users may not want to use harsh chemicals on their floors anyway. So while it’s not as versatile as the Bissell 1543A Symphony Pet or the Oreck Steam-It, this is still a terrific all-around steam mop for getting the dirt and grime off your hardwood, tile or linoleum floors.
4 Hoover WH20200 TwinTank Steam Mop
The Hoover WH20200 TwinTank is another good choice if you’re looking to get the most value for your money. The Hoover is priced very similarly to the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh, but it offers a few features that the Bissell doesn’t have, like the Hoover’s unique dual-tank system, which will allow you to either clean with just steam or in conjunction with a disinfectant solution. You can use it with the Hoover SteamPlus cleaning solution, which will eradicate 99% of bacteria. This includes germs that cause E. coli, the flu and salmonella. Additionally, the solution is eco-friendly and does not contain harmful toxins.
The unit has a built-in control dial that allows you to adjust the amount of solution you want to use. The Hoover TwinTank is also very versatile, as it can be used on a wide range of different floor surfaces. In addition, the units sleek, angular mop head allows for easy maneuvering around corners and in and around hard-to-reach areas. And at around 11 pounds, it doesn’t weigh much either, so pushing and pulling it around as well as taking it up and down stairs should not pose much of a problem for most people, even to those with frailer body types.
5 Best Budget Model: Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop
The Shark S3501 Steam Pocket is a great choice for those just looking for a relatively cheap steam mop that will get the job done. With a price of just under $70, most people will be able to afford this unit without it having a significant affect on their finances.
Additionally, if you’re new to the world of steam cleaning and have never owned a floor steamer before, then that may be another reason to get the Shark Steam Pocket, as it’s a good beginner model. It doesn’t have many of the fancy features of some of the higher-end models out there, but it’s affordable, relatively easy-to-use, and using it will help you decide if a steam mop will remain on your list of must-have cleaning products.
The Shark S3501, which can heat up and be ready to go in about thirty seconds from the time that you turn it on, can be used on a number of different types of floor surfaces, including tile, vinyl, linoleum and wood. Additionally, its relatively large double-sided, microfiber mop pads can cover a good deal of floor space and you can clean longer with them than other pads, since the mop head can be flipped over, allowing you to clean with the “un-dirtied” side of the pad. Another unique feature of the Shark Steam Pocket is that there is no steam “trigger” button like you’d find on most other steam mops. Instead, the user’s natural “pushing” and “pulling” motion will cause the unit to expel steam.
Honorable Mention (Also Recommended)
SKG 212F 1500-Watt Floor Steamer
The SKG 212F is another highly-rated steam mop, and is priced very similarly to the Bissell 1940 PowerFresh. Although it’s not multi-functional like the Oreck Steam-It or Haan SI-70, it’s very effective at doing the job that it was mainly designed for, which is steam cleaning floors. This unit may be used on laminate, linoleum, hardwood and tile flooring. And because it uses only steam to clean and eliminate virtually all bacteria, germs and allergens from you floors, you won’t ever have to deal with any potentially harmful chemicals.