I think the steam mop is one of the best inventions ever. I know there are hundreds of reviews on the web. All of them promising top models lineup. Sure, there are plenty to choose from, with many top rated steam mops being quite expensive. We intend presenting you with a selection of the best steam mops that should suit everyone. The top models from brands like Bissell are an obvious choice for a review when we talk about steam mops.
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But what about those of you who are on a tight budget? We’ve thought of you too. There are also more affordable machines in the review. Obviously, not quite as great as really expensive high-end steam floor cleaners, the cheaper options are about value for money. Good functionality and quality, at a very reasonable price. We’ll even suggest a few electric mops that don’t use steam, if that’s more your preference.
More than just providing you with a comprehensive steam mop review, I’ll also be offering a bunch of tips and useful information about these great household appliances. So this is a review and a guide to buying steam mops.
If you’re new to steam floor cleaners, this is the best place to start. All the advice you’ll ever need to buy a steam mop with absolute confidence. If you’re not sure that a steam mop is exactly what you need, I’ll start with this point.
Onto the important stuff, our review of the best steam mops. If you’re still not sure which is going to be your best choice, after reading the product reviews, fear not. I’ll provide a complete steam mop buying guide, following the review. This will help you know what to look for when buying a good steam mop for your home.
1. Bissell Powerfresh Pet
Who would have thought that one of the best budget steam mops would hail from one of the premier brands in the business? It’s fantastic to know that you can get a steam floor cleaner, of the Bissel quality standard, for under a hundred bucks. As a basic steam mop, the Bissell Powerfresh Pet Steam Mop is truly magnificent.
The only reason I see for the fantastically low price, is that this model doesn’t include any extra attachments. So you won’t get the bristle tools, grout tools and all the other handy attachments that you will with the more expensive Bissell steam mops.
It also doesn’t convert into a handheld steam cleaner. You do have the option to buy a few additional scrubbing pads for more serious cleaning. But these are not included in the wonderfully affordable purchase price.
So we’ve established that the Bissel Powerfresh Pet Steam Mop doesn’t have too much in the line extra attachments. So what are you getting for your money? Well, for starters it is a Bissell product and this means quality, as well as a warranty, and after sales service that’s hard to beat.
While Bissel haven’t added any extras to push up the price, they have stuck to the basic Bissel engineering. So, like many more expensive machines, this model has a really powerful 1500W rating and will heat the steam in only 30 seconds. It also has a generous 6 Oz water tank, for longer cleaning time between refills. Although limited, the Powerfresh Pet steam mop does have a scrubber that conveniently flips down when needed. This helps to scrub away hardened dirt.
The junior Bissel model also has a variable digital Smartset steam setting, so you can adjust your cleaning intensity to the job at hand. It’s super easy to use. As part of the pet cleaning solution, they’ve included a set of Odor Eliminating Fragrance discs to your purchase. So you are getting a little extra.
Personally, I prefer a steam cleaner that can do a whole lot more than just clean floors. Though, if you’re looking for high-end quality from a top rated brand, at an affordable price, the Bissel Powerfresh Pet Steam mop is sure to impress. It will be a tough task to beat this little machine when it comes to expertly cleaning hard floors to a perfect shine.
2. Bissell Powerfresh Slim
If you’re going to compare the Bissell Powerfresh Slim to the Powerfresh pet, you’ll notice that the Bissel Powerfresh Slim is fair deal more expensive. Though, you’re getting a lot more for your money. The Bissel Powerfresh slim is just about the most versatile, all in one, steam cleaner that you can get. It’s certainly one of the very best steam mops. With a huge selection of extra attachments, included in the price, you can do a lot with this little wonder machine.
Powerfresh Slim is a snippet heavier than the Powerfresh pet. None the less, at 6.4 ounces, this is not a heavy appliance and has many advantages to its design. It has swivel steering, making in a breeze to move around your hard floors and into corners.
It also converts to a handheld steam cleaner for above floor cleaning. You can use the Powerfresh Slim with the extended wand to clean curtains all the way up to the ceiling.
This steam cleaner has every attachment you could ever think of. There are a variety of scrubbers and pads that allow to clean every inch of your home with complete ease. It also has a grout tool, and a clothing steam tool. In total, there are eight additional attachments and an onboard storage tool kit, for added ease of use. In addition to all this, the Powerfresh Slim has a wall-mounted kit. When you take all this into account, the higher price for this steam mop, starts to make a lot of sense.
The steam on demand function means that you don’t have to use a continuous flow of steam. This helps to compensate for the slightly smaller, 12 Oz tank capacity. Because you’re only using steam when you need it, this tank will probably keep going for longer than larger tanks with continuous steam. It’s also less bulky and easier to use.
This model has rapid steam heating, common to most Bissel steam mops. It only takes about 30-seconds for the water to heat sufficiently. The power cord is a convenient 25-feet in length and the cleaning path width is also great at 13”.
Of all the steam mops in this review, the Bissel Powerfresh Slim has to be my favorite. It’s lightweight and easy to use. With all the accessories, I could possibly imagine, and the option to use it as a handheld steam cleaner, it is a truly wonderful, complete home cleaning machine. I’d happily pay those extra dollars for everything this all in one home steam cleaner has to offer. Simply put, this is a magnificent product.
3. Light N Easy
While the Light ‘n Easy brand may not hold the same esteem as Bissel, this multifunctional steam mop cleaner compares incredibly well to the super impressive Bissel Powerfresh Slim. As I’m less familiar with the brand, I took a good look at the customer reviews online. There are over 2,000 reviews (with an average rating of 4.5 stars). This certainly bodes well for the nifty Light ‘n Easy steam mop.
It has all the functions, features, and accessories that I’d expect from a top rated steam mop. The detachable tank with a power steam and clothes attachment is great for most fabric cleaning and compares to any of the best. This model has electronic steam adjustment (high, medium, low) and an automatic function that has pros and cons.
Actually, I’m not sure if the automatic steam function is the best. I’ve heard of some people mentioning that the steam flow is erratic. I suspect this may have something to do with the tilt auto-steam function. It makes sense, when you tilt the handle upright, the steam stops. Tilt the handle downward, into a normal working position, and the steam will resume. This is very convenient, though it may not work perfectly every time. I suppose a few tugs, up and down on the handle, should sort this out. The handheld touch sensor for the handheld steamer appears to be very reliable and easy to use.
The machine weighs a very reasonable 6.4 pounds and has washable microfiber mop pads. You can use this steam mop on hard carpets and the optional Easy Glide attachment makes this a simple, effortless job. Like its Bissel counterpart, this steam mop is a handy all in one house steam cleaning whizz.
I suppose I prefer the Powerfresh Slim, mostly because of the Bissel reputation. Though there is nothing to suggest that the Light ‘n Easy steam mop cleaner is second best. It doesn’t have quite as many attachments as the Powerfresh slim, but is still quite competent by comparison.
4. Shark Genius
No steam mop review can be complete without including a Shark model. These guys are legends in the high-quality appliance business. The Shark Genius (S5003D) hard floor cleaning system is a formidable steam mop. It doesn’t have the multipurpose attachments like many others, but this steam mop is easily the best for cleaning hard floors. The Dirt Grip pads are absolutely fabulous.
Like all Shark appliances, this steam mop is well-made, with quality being evident in every detail. The slim elegant design is wonderfully practical, and it weighs a mere 5.78 pounds.
The handle design is superb for carrying and mopping. The 350 ML (11.83 Oz) water tank is reasonable, though not the biggest you’ll find. Electronic steam control, with 3 settings, does help to manage your steam well for the job at hand.
You get two washable Dirt Grip pads with your purchase and these are the real secret to the success of this steam mop. These unique pads are fantastic at cleaning a wide path with virtually no effort from you. The thing I like best, is the hands-free click to release function. You don’t need to get your hands dirty. Simply hold the shark over your laundry hamper, press a button and the used pad will drop into the hamper. After a whirl in the washing machine, it’s ready for use again.
The Shark also has a perfectly positioned steam jet for a cleaning boost. If you encounter some tough dirt, there’s no need to put you back into it, or use a scrubbing tool. You just have to pull on the trigger to release an extra burst of super-heated steam.
When it comes to the easiest and most effective way to clean tiles and hardwood floors, The Shark Genius steam mop definitely makes the grade. It’s designed as the perfect hard floor cleaning system and is a real winner in this department. If you’re looking for all the extras tuff, like garment steaming or window cleaning etc., the Shark Genius is not the one for you. On the other hand, if all you want is the most effective way to clean hard floors, with the minimum effort, then the Shark Genius may be the ideal steam mop for your home.
5. Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe
The name seems to suggest that the Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe model is the very best steam mop that the brand has to offer. Though, when compared to the more modestly named Powerfresh Slim, this is far from true. The Powerfresh Deluxe is a great machine, with quite a few amazing features, but doesn’t have the same versatility (or as many attachments), as the Powerfresh Slim. On the plus side, it’s quite a bit cheaper.
Compared to the Powerfresh Slim, some of the limitations of this model includes the fact that it does not convert into a hand steamer. Nor does it have any of the additional attachments, like a garment steamer, grout cleaning tool and all the other cool stuff that you get with the more expensive Bissel steam mop.
This is a wonderfully competent steam mop, but not much more. Though it does have quite a few redeeming features. I like the swivel steering and the easy to use scrubber for stubborn dirt. The scrubbing brush stores on the steam mop, so it’s always at hand when needed. Though you will need to stop, remove the soft cleaning pad, and fit the scrubber. This isn’t much of an inconvenience, it only takes a few seconds.
The Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe is delightfully lightweight, only 6-pounds, and has a conveniently large (6 Oz) water tank. They’ve included a measuring cup to make refilling the tank a little easier. It’s as powerful as any Bissel steam mop (12A), so the Powerfresh Deluxe has one of the fastest water heating systems. It also has variable steam, which is continuous. The washable cleaning pads are great and it includes a set of fragrance, odor removing, cleaning discs.
As a well-priced, highly competent steam mop, you’ve got to love the Bissell Deluxe. It has all the Hallmarks of a high-quality Bissel product, without a scary price tag. The Powerfresh Deluxe is super easy to use and cleans like a dream.
Regular Electric Mop or Steam Mop?
Even though a standard electric mop doesn’t have the power cleaning abilities of a steam mop, they have quite a few advantages over using an old-fashioned manual mop. Apart from taking the hard work out of mopping floors, these machines don’t require a bucket of water. This means that you aren’t squeezing the dirty water out and then swirling it all over the floor again as you clean.
An electric mop has an onboard tank, into which you mix your water and detergent. This water is then fed to rotating pads or brushes. Some models offer a wide variety of cleaning brushes and polishing pads. Though, for the most part, expect a set of scrubbing brushes or scouring pads, and a set of soft pads for gentle cleaning and polishing. A vacuum and electric mop is a very versatile variation on the ordinary electric mop that only cleans and polishes. These all in one appliances have the obvious benefit of a wet and dry vacuum, along with cleaning abilities of a regular electric mop.
So an electric mop makes cleaning your hard floors relatively easy. Though you will have to use detergent and, unlike a steam mop, your floors aren’t instantly dry and ready to walk on. They are, however, cheaper. Though this is not always true. The top rated electric mops that we’ll be reviewing are actually more expensive than many of the basic steam mops.
These factors make electric mops very popular. Not everyone wants to pay for a steam mop, when a regular electric mop does an adequate job of cleaning your floors, with very little effort. For this reason, we’ve include a review of two of the top rated Bissell electric mops that compare well with to our pick of the best steam mops that we’ve reviewed this far. They actually offer a lot more versatility than the steam mops, each in their own way. Both are Bissel appliances, so there’s no need to concern yourself about quality. The brand says it all, these are certainly amongst the best quality electric mops on the market.
No-Steam Electric Mops
1. BISSELL Spinwave
Okay, I know I said that electric mops are generally cheaper than steam mops. So it may be a surprise that the Bissel Spinwave Cordless Hard Floor Mop costs about $60 more than some of their cheaper steam mops. This is simply because this is a cordless electric mop. Battery-powered appliance always cost more.
You’re paying extra for the convenience of no electric cord and brushless DC motors are much more efficient. So they use a fraction of the electricity that a similar corded appliance would.
Apart from the obvious benefit of the cordless design, the battery-powered Bissel Spinwave has a lot of other advantages. It is compact and slim, yet has a really wide (14”) cleaning path. The water tank is very generous at 28 Oz. Compared to steam mops, a standard electric mop is going to be heavier. So although the 11-pound weight of this electric mop may seem a little hefty compared to the steam mops that we’ve reviewed, it is actually very reasonable. When you consider that this appliance has a battery, the weight is actually remarkable. They’ve fitted a carrying handle to make this weight much more manageable for stairs and the like.
The spray on demand trigger and conveniently placed controls, make the Bissell Spinwave wonderfully easy to use. Included in your purchase are two sets of cleaning discs. One set of two soft cleaning pads which are ideal for polishing your hardwood floors to a brilliant shine. The other set consists of two “Scrubby” pads which do a fine job of removing hard dirt, without scratching the surface. They also include 2 X trial size Multi-Surface cleaning formula. The 5AH lithium ion battery, that’s included with the mop, will offer up to 20-minutes run-time. It may be a good idea to order a second battery if you have a larger home with a lot of hard floors to clean. It also has a nifty, all in one storage unit.
If, like so many, you’re hooked on battery-powered appliances, then you will be prepared to dig a little deeper into your pockets for the cordless Bissel Spinwave. It’s most certainly a fantastic electric mop. The majority of customer reviews definitely agree with this. Would you expect anything less from Bissell?
2. BISSELL Crosswave
The Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro, is not just the best electric mop for a home with pets, it is a complete home cleaning solution in one versatile machine. The Bissel Crosswave is a mop and vacuum combo. So while it may be more expensive than other electric or steam mops, it does everything, from scrubbing and polishing hard floors to vacuuming carpets. Not to mention, it has what it takes to handle pet hair and the like.
The wet and dry vacuum means that you can simplify things by mopping and vacuuming at the same time. Two separate water tanks makes for perfect convenience. One tank contains clean water and detergent, while the other holds the dirty water sucked up from your floors.
The multi-surface brush roll is another great time saver, transitioning to from hard floors to carpet and area rugs with absolutely no effort. The soft nylon and bristle combination brush roll means it will clean and polish hard floors and will, just as easily, lift dirt from low pile carpets. The cleaning head has a reasonably wide, 12-inch cleaning path. It also has a pet hair strainer, so you won’t be battling with tangled hair in the dirty water reservoir. You can toss the hair, and other solid debris directly into the trash can.
The handle is comfortable, with a large trigger control switch. Along with swivel steering, this makes the 11.5 pound machine easily manageable throughout the home. A carrying handle helps when moving it about the home. The water tank capacity is certainly up to scratch, at 28 Oz. Your purchase includes 2 X Multi-surface brush rolls and two bottles of Multi-Surface Pet Formula with Febreze Freshness.
The Bissell Crosswave will undoubtedly save a lot of time when it comes to cleaning every floor in the home. It has the capacity, power, and functions to handle the extra work needed when cleaning up after pets. While this is not a particularly cheap appliance, it does the job of two – an electric mop and a vacuum cleaner. So you’ll probably be saving a bit compared to buying both. You also have the added benefit of not having to store two bulky home cleaning machines.
The Complete Steam Mop Buying Guide
After reading our review of steam mops, some of you may have a few more questions. If you’re still unsure which of these will be the best steam mop for you, this buying guide should help. I’ll be talking about what to look for in a steam mop. After all, we don’t all have the same requirements. So it’s a good idea to assess your exact needs.
If you merely want to clean hard floors with least amount of fuss, you can save quite a bit of cash, buying a basic steam mop without any extra attachments. On the other hand, there a lot of very useful attachments that you get with some of the best steam mops. Some will make curtain cleaning jobs easier. Others will increase the versatility, allowing you to do a lot more than just clean and polish hard floors. This will have, mostly, to do with how much you’re prepared to pay.
I always believe in buying a quality product, from a reputable brand. Though, in this regard, you can rest assured. We’ve only reviewed steam mops that we believe to be of the highest quality standard. So, while you may find cheaper equivalents, I wouldn’t say that you’re necessarily getting a better deal. Buying an appliance that will continue working effectively for many years, along with good backup service, is worth a lot.
Of the steam mops that we’ve reviewed, specs vary and some have an enormous variety of extra attachments. Now it’s time to take a more detailed look at what all this means.
What to Look for a Steam Mop
There a number of factors that separate the best steam cleaners from the run of the mill. This goes beyond just brand and quality. Depending on the size of your home, and the type of cleaning that you do, some features and specs will be more important than others.
In order for steam to be effective at cleaning and removing bacteria, the water needs to be heated to above 175°F. A more powerful water heater will not only ensure the correct water temperature, but will do so in less time. A good quality steam mop will generally have a power rating of 1200W – 1500W. A more powerful machine will use more electricity, but should save some time as it will produce steam more quickly.
Water Tank and Steam Controls
The size of the water tank will determine how long you can work for, before you need to fill the tank. Though this is just a guideline. The controls can help minimize how much steam you use, thereby prolonging your working time from the tank. More sophisticated controls also help you clean more effectively, by adjusting to the job at hand. High intensity steam can be perfect for cleaning grout and tiles, but hardwood floors might be better off with less intensity.
Handle and Steering
Just like a vacuum cleaner, a comfortable handle with fingertip controls, will make your life easier. Similarly, swivel steering makes it easier to maneuver around obstacles in the home. The size of the wheels can also be a factor, but this is less important on hard floors.
You might also want to consider the weight of the steam cleaner, if you need to carry it up stairs. Though most steam mops tend be very lightweight – around 6 – 8 pounds.
Good steam mops use soft cleaning pads that won’t damage sensitive surfaces, like hardwood floors. However, there may be times when a little extra scrubbing is needed. This may take the form of additional scrubbing brushes.
Some may require that you remove the soft pads and fit the scrubbers. These are very effective, but it takes time exchange the cleaning pad for the scrubber and vice versa. A built-in scrubber, may not be the most effective for large amounts of stubborn dirt, but are very convenient. A small scrubbing brush that can be used in conjunction with the soft cleaning pads is an easy and quick way to remove small spots of hard dirt on the go.
Steam Mop Attachments
If you’re new to steam mops, you may not know how valuable some attachments can be. You’re usually paying extra for a high-end steam mop with a full set of attachments. Though that extra cost can be of great value. Here’s basic overview of the most common steam mop attachments:
Do you Actually Need a Steam Mop?
Personally, I feel that a steam mop is the best way to clean hard floors. They’re gentle on hardwood floors, and generally use no detergents. At the same time, they provide the perfect, high intensity cleaning power to sanitize bathroom tiles. Steam is, without a doubt, the best way to clean tiles and grout – getting into every nook and cranny without any effort. Let’s start by taking a look at how a steam cleaner works.
All steam floor cleaners have a water tank and a heating system. They deliver a stream of super-heated, dry steam that penetrates the mop head. Steam is capable of removing the most stubborn dirt, without scrubbing or the need for harsh detergents. The dry steam, along with using no detergent, is what makes a steam mop the safest for hard floors.
The fact that steam floor cleaners don’t use detergent really appeals to me. Look in your kitchen cabinets and take note of all those detergent bottles. With the right steam mop, you could probably do without most of them. This is obviously going to save heaps of cash, and you have the added bonus of more cabinet space. Detergents and bleach can have quite a nasty odor that will linger for hours. Steam leaves a fresh, naturally clean, and odorless room.
Steam kills bacteria and mold. So it it’s the best all in one home cleaning solution. Allergies and asthma are kept at bay. For a home with pets, a steam mop is a must-have item. All those pesky critters that accompany your beloved animals in the home cannot stand up to the power of steam. When it comes to pet odors, a steam floor cleaner is the king. Unlike pet cleaning detergents that mostly mask the odor with a perfumed scent, a steam mop gets to the heart of the problem. By killing all the odor causing bacteria, steam gets rid of any odor, without leaving an artificial “fresh” smell.
Steam mops are not just for hard floors. Many have attachments for cleaning upholstery, curtains widows, as well as remove mites and other micro-organisms from your bed linen and mattress. Steam attachments for clothing will remove creases and even some spots of dirt. It’s easier than ironing your clothes and more gentle on the fabric. You may even save on your dry cleaning bills. Some have removable tanks and can be used as a hand steam cleaner. Now think of how many more detergents you can do away with, if your steam cleaner does so much more than just clean hard floors.