8 Best Steam Mops – 2022 Buying Guide

By Maria Hernandez / January 19, 2022 / 4 Comments

Floor Critics is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

While cleaning floors is rarely fun, most of us enjoy having a clean and sanitary home. A good steam mop can make short work of cleaning hard floors without the need to use any harsh chemicals. So, in today’s article, we put together a list of the eight best steam mops on the market.

In addition to our list of the top mops, we included a complete buying guide. So, whether you are looking at a Shark steam mop or a Bissell steam mop, you know what features matter most.

We’ll also delve into the benefits of steam mopping and why it is a better alternative to traditional mopping, as well as share a few secrets on the best way to maintain your floors with steam.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Light ‘N’ Easy Steam Mop
  2. Best Mid-Range: Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop
  3. Best Budget: Shark Steam Pocket Mop
  4. Most Versatile: Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
  5. Best Compact: O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
  6. Best Lightweight: PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop
  7. Best Basic: BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop
  8. Best No-Touch: Shark Genius Steam Pocket System

Steam Mop Buying Advice

Best Overall: Light ‘N’ Easy Steam Mop

Floor Critics Rating (4.9):

  • Tank Capacity: 340 ml
  • Heat Time: 30 sec
  • Weight: 9.48 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 20 feet
  • The High Points: Fast heating, multiple settings and attachments
  • The Low Points: Price
Light ’N’ Easy Steam Mop
Light ’N’ Easy Steam Mop

If you want to make short work of cleaning your floors, this steam mop from Light ’N’ Easy is exactly what you need, as it takes only 30 seconds to heat up to the required temperature to start cleaning your floors. There are also three settings so you can always choose the perfect temperature.

Eliminate stains and grime with water alone, which means it is entirely safe for children, pets, and yoga lovers. It is also safe for you while cleaning, as it has a smart switch that immediately turns off the steam if you drop the mop.

This machine is great for your floors, but also anything else you have that needs steam cleaning. The head detaches to make a handheld steam cleaner, and it comes with a variety of attachments.

In total, the cleaner comes with three microfiber mop pads ideal for most hard surfaces, two grout-cleaning brushes for bathrooms and other tile floors, a jet nozzle for cement and other outdoor surfaces, a window squeegee for glass, cylinder towel for curtains and upholstery, and an extension hose for all those hard-to-reach places. It also has a 20-foot cord, so you don’t feel tied down while cleaning your home.

The cleaner comes with a one-year warranty, so you can feel secure in your investment. This is important since the mop is far from the cheapest on the market and falls in the middle of the range. But this high-quality product is worth the extra dollars.

Another thing we wanted to mention is that this best-rated steam mop will never get stuck on stains. As you’ve probably previously experienced, some mops struggle with sticky stains. This mop is a fantastic product that releases continuous steam and will take care of heavy-duty stains right away.

Light ’N’ Easy Steam Mop

Customers are very happy with the product, with more than 80% of customers awarding the steam mop four stars or above.

Less happy customers mostly stated that they would have preferred to have sturdier pads available instead of the microfiber towels. A few also noted that this model was heavier than some other steam cleaners they have used, which is true as it weighs almost 10 pounds. You will see options half the weight further down the list.

But in general, customers said the mop was easy to assemble and that it was an effective floor-cleaning machine. They liked the versatility of the attachments and how quick and easy it was to use.

Features & Considerations

This option from Light ’N’ Easy is good if you are looking for a relatively hefty machine for serious cleaning, rather than something light. It weighs just under 10 pounds, but that means it can have 20 feet of cord, and a big water tank that detaches into a full handheld steamer.

The best thing about this steam mop is probably how versatile it is. It comes with multiple temperature settings and a full range of attachments. That means you only need one machine for all of your home steaming. That gives value to the price tag, which is still low but hardly a “budget” option.

The one-year warranty is an overall stamp of reassurance for the general quality of this great cleaner.

Best Mid-Range: Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Tank Capacity: 350 ml
  • Heat Time: 30 sec
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 25 feet
  • The High Points: Slim, lightweight, versatile
  • The Low Points: Price, tools break easily
Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop
Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop

The versatile, sleek Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam mop heats water in 30 seconds and features swivel steering. An easy release allows users to switch to a handheld format for other applications. Numerous accessories and tools are included with the mop, some of which can be stored on board.

The water tank is easy to access and fill. Steam levels can be controlled with the one-touch digital buttons on the handle, and users can switch between settings during operation. The mop utilizes a steam-on-demand function that’s activated by a trigger on the handle. This means steam isn’t released unless the trigger is pulled.

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim knows no bounds and can attack grease, grime, and heavy-duty grout dirt in almost any household application. The handheld function can be used to target tight spots along baseboards and behind toilets and kitchen appliances.

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop

PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop owners rave about the versatility of the mop. Floor surfaces sparkle, and grout can be efficiently cleaned with the use of the grout brush attachment. Some users also note that even just using the floor mop head gets grout noticeably cleaner.

Some reviewers mention that the handle is bulky and can get heavy and hard to hold during operation. The mop’s sleek body style also means there’s nowhere to store the power cord during use, so users find themselves constantly managing the cord location while cleaning.

The PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop can handle lots of different clean-up jobs, including grease and sticky messes, according to a few mop owners. Users report that the low setting is great for moisture-sensitive surfaces, though some note that higher levels of steam aren’t always adequate for their cleaning needs.

Features & Considerations

wall mount bracket comes with the PowerFresh Slim. Users can easily stow the mop and cord up and out of the way between uses. You can store some attachments on board. However, you may need additional storage space to contain everything that comes with this mop with full features.

The length of the extension cord is 25 feet, which will make it easy for you to move the mop around and get all the spots in your house.

When you convert it to the handheld steamer, you can use the PowerFresh Slim to target dirty grout, greasy ovens and grills, and other hard-to-clean grime. You can also clean and sanitize bathroom applications.

Attachments that come with the PowerFresh Slim assist users in attacking a range of cleaning jobs around the house. The flat scraper tool and the grout brush can grab and release microscopic dirt and debris from tight corners, and the clothing steamer attachment converts the mop into an entirely different machine.

The floor mop attachment can be used with or without the extension handle, so you can also easily clean countertops and other flat, above-the-floor spots.

The PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop comes with a washable mop pad, and additional pads are available for purchase. Scented, demineralized water is also offered.

We love this mop because it’s lightweight and easy to use. It’s perfect for tile floors because it targets the heaviest stains and can successfully clean the grout.

Best Budget: Shark Steam Pocket Mop

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Tank Capacity: 450 ml
  • Heat Time: 30 sec
  • Weight: 4.87 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 20 feet
  • The High Points: Price, reusable pads
  • The Low Points: Manual operation, durability
Shark Steam Pocket Mop
Shark Steam Pocket Mop

The Shark Steam Pocket Mop is a simple and affordable option for users looking to harness steam for cleaning without paying for lots of added functions. The water tank is compact and heats water to steamy levels in about 30 seconds.

Two double-sided microfiber pads come with the mop. You can flip the mop head during use to allow for twice as much cleaning area with each pad. You can machine wash these reusable pads, and then you should air dry them to prevent shrinkage.

Users will need to apply a little effort to help in steam production. The Shark Steam Pocket Mop will heat water to form steam, but the moperator will need to pump the handle to aid in the steam’s release. This manual form of steam control keeps costs down while providing users with a little bit of customizable cleaning power.

Shark Steam Pocket Mop

Steam Pocket Mop owners rave about the mop’s budget-friendly price tag and sleek design, attributes familiar to those who are fans of Shark vacuums. According to users, the mop is super easy to assemble, and the power cord length is just right. It’s best to sweep the floor prior to steaming, per a couple of owners. Floor streaks can occur if there is lingering debris being dragged along during the steaming process.

The washable pads are pretty durable and seem to last for at least 20 uses. A few users stress the importance of air drying the pads; some owners have attempted to complete the process in a dryer and have experienced shrinking pads that no longer fit on the mop head.

Pumping for steam can get a little tiring and presents some difficulties for users with back problems or arthritis. A couple of owners recommend waiting to attack the dirtiest areas until the end of the cleaning session, allowing the mop and steam a chance to heat to optimum grime-removing levels.

Features & Considerations

Some manual effort is required to get the steam rolling, and refilling the water reservoir can be a bit tedious. Incorporating a small funnel into the process can help eliminate puddles.

The Shark Steam Pocket Mop handle is adjustable and can typically be set to accommodate users, short and tall. There aren’t any additional bells and whistles beyond this feature.

Replacement mop pads are available, and it isn’t a bad idea to keep a few extras on hand. When it comes time to remove dirty mop pads after a steam cleaning session, users may have to come in contact with them.

This is another lightweight and easy-to-use steam mop that also comes at a fantastic price. If you ever need a great floor steam cleaner but you don’t want to spend a fortune, you should opt for this one. It also proved to be a great asset for cleaning pet hair.

Most Versatile: Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Tank Capacity: 1,600 ml
  • Heat Time: 7 min
  • Weight: 9 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 16 feet
  • The High Points: Portable, large water tank, versatile
  • The Low Points: Bulky to store, price
Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner

The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is a canister-style machine capable of mobilizing to wherever duty calls. This commercial-grade steamer heats water to temps up to 275 degrees, compared to the standard steam temp of 212 degrees. The body style allows for a massive water tank and lots of flexibility during operation.

The Neat Steam Cleaner comes with a six-foot hose and two extension handles. When combined with the 16-foot power cord, users can enjoy a lengthy cleaning range. The steamer canister features small wheels that assist the cleaner in rolling along with the user, allowing nearly effortless operation when coupled with the feather-light hose and mop pad.

Three microfiber cleaning pads come with the Neat Steam Cleaner, though owners can attach any towel or rag when floor steaming. This flexible feature frees users from the need to maintain an inventory of manufacturer-specific pads and also allows for special fabrics to be used in certain applications.

What Reviewers Say

Owners rave about the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner’s abilities to cut into tough stains. You can easily clean nearly any surface when incorporating the different hose and attachment variations. You can thoroughly scrub grout with satisfactory results, and can erase sticky messes with minimal user effort.

A few reviews note that the steamer is quiet and easy to move when floor cleaning. The water takes a while to heat up initially, but once it’s hot, steam production can go on for at least a couple of hours. Per one user, it’s best to keep a towel around while cleaning, as steam levels can get excessive at times and form small puddles.

On top of heating the water to 275 degrees, this cleaner releases continuous steam. It can destroy germs and bacteria with ease, tackle heavy duty stains, and take care of tile floors.

Some owners mention that the attachments really elevate this steamer above the rest. There is a tool for just about everything, and the mobility of the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner allows for easy, convenient access to most applications.

The only downside related to all of the accessories is that you can’t store them on board. Owners will need to use some type of external storage to keep everything contained.

Features & Considerations

It takes about seven minutes to reach full steam levels once you have filled the Neat Steam Cleaner’s massive water tank. This lengthy wait time will allow for hours of cleaning time.

The steamer’s manufacturer reports that you can use the Neat Steam Cleaner with standard tap water, though to ensure proper function for years to come, it might still be best to use distilled water at least sometimes. The water reservoir features a built-in funnel to help keep spillage down during the filling process.

retractable handle allows for lots of flexibility when on the go, and you can use tools targeting grout, corners, and crevices to deep clean flooring applications once the mopping job is done.

It’s safe to say that the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is the best floor steam cleaner. It is commercial-grade, and it will become one the biggest assets in your home. It’s quite powerful, a great pet steam mop, and comes with a wide range of accessories that will make your cleaning tasks much easier.

Best Compact: O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Tank Capacity: 400 ml
  • Heat Time: 20 sec
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 20 feet
  • The High Points: Washable pads, lightweight
  • The Low Points: Price
O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop

The O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop features a compact mop head that can fit into tight corners and low-profile applications. The sleek body style means lightweight operation, and it’s easy to store too.

You can use this steam mop to clean and sanitize all floor surfaces, including tile floors and carpets when you’ve installed the carpet glider attachment. There’s no waiting for steam with the efficient O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop, either; water heats up to steam-producing temps in just 20 seconds.

Users can take advantage of adjustable steam levels, which are variable instead of preset. This allows for some added flexibility when moving from steaming hard floors to carpeted surfaces. The mop produces continuous steam once it’s fully heated, so there’s no need to use a trigger to release it.

Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner

According to numerous users, the O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop is just what the doctor ordered. Owners with mobility issues or physical ailments love the low-impact, lightweight cleaning method, noting that the steam does the work so they don’t have to. The mop can also stand in an upright position, so users don’t need to find a place to lean it during brief breaks or transitions.

A few reports note that the O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop does an outstanding job of lifting and eliminating the perpetual surface dirt that loves to live on your wood-look tile floors. Shine is said to be restored after a quick steam cleaning session.

The mop may have trouble with tap water. A couple of users mention that it is very susceptible to mineral build-up issues, which seem to impact water flow and heating element functions. Owners also report that the carpet cleaning function doesn’t necessarily clean, but does a good job of refreshing carpets and area rugs.

Features & Considerations

Washable mop pad refills are available for purchase, and it’s convenient to keep a couple of extra pads on hand so some can be used while others are being washed and air-dried. Pads should be replaced every three months or after 25 washes.

What we love about this O-Cedar Microfiber mop is that it’s powerful enough to kill germs and bacteria, but it is also lightweight enough to be carried around with ease. Another great thing is that it takes care of pet hair, destroying the germs that your lovely furry friends can bring in.

After a cleaning session, it’s best to let the water tank fully empty. The mop should then be laid flat to dry.

Best Lightweight: PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Tank Capacity: 340 ml
  • Heat Time: 30 sec
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Cord Length: N/A
  • The High Points: Price, lightweight, versatile
  • The Low Points: Attachments can wear out
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop

The PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop is an extremely lightweight, affordable system that features a ton of accessories and functions. You can easily fill the compact water tank, and it produces sanitizing steam in just 30 seconds.

The convertible nature of the PurSteam 10-in-1 allows users to tackle jobs beyond just the floor’s surface. Grout can be scrubbed, windows can be washed, and all sorts of kitchen and bathroom goo can be conquered.

The wide mop head covers a broad surface area, and the portable handheld unit can attack ground-in grit along baseboards, stair crevices, and in tight corners.

Three steam settings can be used to regulate steam production depending on the task. Moisture-sensitive surfaces like laminate and wood benefit from less steam, while grease and grout dirt could use some extra puffs.

PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop

A full water tank will yield about 15 minutes of cleaning time, per a few user reports. A handful of owners note that the grout cleaning capabilities of the mop are excellent, though the attachments seem to wear out quickly.

Some reviews mention issues with product durability, with heating elements burning out and plastic pieces breaking. A few users note that they experienced quality customer service when making a warranty claim or needing a replacement part.

A handful of owners report having issues with keeping the mop pad in contact with the floor during a cleaning session. Other users, however, mention that the carpet glider attachment comes installed on the mop. So if there’s an issue making contact with a hard surface, it may be because this piece is still in place.

Features & Considerations

The PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop comes with two reusable, washable mop pads. Additional pads are available for purchase.

An array of tools are included with the PurSteam 10-in-1, including various nylon brushes, a window squeegee, a straight nozzle, a clothes steamer, and more.

The mop’s manufacturer claims the system can use standard tap water with no additional treatment necessary. Users can still stick with distilled water to keep things running smoothly, but it seems that with the mop, it’s not imperative.

You can use the PurStream exclusively as a pet steam mop since it’s so lightweight. Only pet owners will understand how important it is to have a mop that is easy to use several times a day.

Best Basic: BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Tank Capacity: 470 ml
  • Heat Time: 30 sec
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 23 feet
  • The High Points: removable pads, relatively lightweight, easy to use
  • The Low Points: basic design, no attachments
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop

According to the brand, this amazing steam mop can destroy around 99.9% of the germs that live on your floors. And what’s even more important is that it will do it without using any chemicals. 

The mop offers three levels of steaming and can heat up the water in only 30 seconds. This is a pretty basic design with simple features, but that’s one of the best things about this mop. Anyone can use it with ease without getting confused about its features.

The cord is 23 feet in length, perfect for you to move it around the room without interrupting your cleaning session. You’ll see buttons that will help you control the steam in the front part, and you can choose between low, medium, and high steam.  

Since Bissell is a well-known supporter of homeless pets, you can use this product as your pet steam mop and tackle all the messes that your cats or dogs make. With each purchase, you donate to Bissell’s foundation that has a mission to save homeless animals.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers are generally happy with their Bissell steam mop purchase. Some complain that they expected more from the product but ended up loving its simplicity after a few uses.

Others love how easy it is to remove the canister, fill it with water, and put it back in. One of the things that most customers praise is how fast this Bissell mop heats the water. Some claim that the water is hot way before the 30-second mark.

Another huge hit among customers is the microfiber scrubby pad that takes care of stains very easily.

Features And Considerations

This is a mop that you can use on various types of flooring. You can clean your sealed hardwood, ceramic, granite, marble, and linoleum floors.

It comes with one microfiber soft pad and one microfiber scrubby pad. Both are removable and washable. In other words, this is an eco-friendly solution, and there is no need to buy new pads each time you clean.

The packaging also comes with two spring breeze fragrance discs that will make your rooms smell wonderful.

The power rating of the mop is 1500 Watts.

Best No-Touch: Shark Genius Steam Pocket System

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Tank Capacity: 350 ml
  • Heat Time: 6 min
  • Weight: 9.24 lbs.
  • Cord Length: 22 feet
  • The High Points: no-touch system, great for houses with kids and pets
  • The Low Points: handle could be sturdier, need to change more than two pads for the entire home
Shark Genius Steam Pocket System
Shark Genius Steam Pocket System

The Shark Genius Steam Pocket System is a great steam mop with a unique no-touch system. The packaging includes one Genius mop head and one Spray Pocket mop for quick cleanups.

The weight of this product is 9.24 lbs, and the water canister can fit 350 ml water. There are three different steam modes to choose from, and the mop is ready within six minutes.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers are impressed with the hands-free technology that allows them to clean and attach a new pad without getting their hands dirty. This is definitely convenient, especially if you’re always in a hurry or have sensitive skin.

What they don’t like is the weight of the mop. This is slightly heavier than some of the mops on the list, and reviewers aren’t happy that it weighs 9.24 lbs. Some even say that they would recommend it much more often if the brand made it slightly more lightweight.

Another thing that Shark might want to improve is the time that it takes for the steamer to be ready. It’s around six minutes, and customers would love it if it took less time.

Features And Considerations

One of the top features of this map is the touch-free technology. It allows users to switch new Dirt Grip pads without even bending or touching pads with their hands. Instead, the mop is equipped with a button that you press to grab a new pad.

Another great feature is that the mop has a very wide cleaning zone. With several strokes, you can go over most of the room, and it will be one of the easiest experiences ever.

An electronic steam control will help you choose how much steam you want the mop to release. The Dirt Grip pads are double-sided and washable. You’ll also get a Spray Pocket mop for fast cleanups.

Side by Side Comparison

ProductOur RatingTank CapacityHeat TimeWeightCord Length
Light ’N’ Easy Steam Mop
Light ’N’ Easy Steam Mop
View on Amazon –>
View on Wayfair –>
Best Overall

Overall: 4.9
340 ml30 sec9.48 lbs.20 ft.
Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop
Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop
View on Bissell –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Mid-Range

Overall: 4.7
350 ml30 sec6.4 lbs. 25 ft.
Shark Steam Pocket Mop
Shark Steam Pocket Mop
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Budget

Overall: 4.8
450 ml30 sec4.87 lbs. 20 ft.
Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Most Versatile

Overall: 4.8
1,600 ml7 min9 lbs.16 ft.
O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Compact

Overall: 4.7
400 ml20 sec5 lbs.20 ft.
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Lightweight

Overall: 4.6
340 ml30 sec2.2 lbs.NA
BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop
Bissell Power Fresh Steam Mop
View on Bissell –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Basic

Overall: 4.7
470 ml30 sec6 lbs. 23 ft.
Shark Genius Steam Pocket System
Shark Genius Steam Pocket System
View on Shark –>
View on Amazon –>
Best No-Touch

Overall: 4.7
350 ml6 min9.24 lbs. 22 ft.

Back to Top

The Complete Steam Mops Buyer’s Guide

What To Look for in a Steam Mop?

How do you determine which is the best steam mop? There are so many amazing brands and products that choosing a single one can be very challenging. So we put together a short guide with features you should look for before deciding which is the best steam mop for your flooring type.
The best floor steamer doesn’t have to be the most expensive one; however, costlier options are usually equipped with multiple features that can make the cleaning experience much easier and safer. For example, the best mop for tile floors doesn’t have to feature customizable steam strengths, but if you’re looking for the best hardwood floor mop, it has to come with adjustable stream strengths.

Maintenance and Use

Steam mops may require a little special attention from time to time to keep things steaming smoothly.

Most mops come with washable, reusable mop pads. These can be cost-saving and provide higher quality cleaning results than disposable pads.

You can rinse the pads throughout a cleaning session and then wash and air dry them when the job is complete. Most washable mop pads last for a couple dozen cleaning sessions, and it may be convenient to have a few extras on hand to keep everything steaming smoothly.

Mineral buildup can be a steam mop’s worst enemy. Over time, deposits from tap water can lead to water flow restrictions and heating element issues. Some manufacturers claim their mops can use tap water.

Others recommend only distilled or demineralized water. Users should do what’s best for them and their machine; but to play it safe, using only distilled water might be a good idea.

The water tank filling process is also something to consider when weighing the best steam mop options. Some tanks are removable, making them easy to fill and reattach. Others attach to the mop.

A small water cup may be included in these cases, so users can fill without a spill. While these little cups can add a little convenience to the process, most aren’t stored onboard and can easily be separated from the mop over time.

Weight and Mobility

Steamy cleaning sessions are supposed to be simple; the purpose of this chemical-free method is to ease the need for scrubbing, wringing, or rinsing and repeating. A steam mop’s weight should be manageable, even with a full tank of water. In the commercial-grade, canister-style steamers, tanks and weight can reach larger scales with minimal user impact.

Power cord length is also an important variable to consider. A long cord can extend cleaning range and limit the amount of time spent jumping from power outlet to power outlet.

However, some steam mops don’t offer on-board cord storage during operation, which can create the need for some strategic cord wrangling while using the mop.

Water Capacity And Steam Control

To maximize the steam’s cleaning power, large, fast-heating water tanks and adjustable settings can be helpful, improving the results and the user’s experience.

Water tank capacities will determine how long a steam session can last, though in most cases, once the reservoir is refilled, the mop is ready for another round right away.

Striking the balance between lightweight operation and large water tanks is key, as every ounce of liquid counts when it comes to bulk. Canister-style steamers are able to beef up capacity by eliminating the on-board structure of an upright mop.

Once the tank is full and the mop’s steaming, it can be valuable to have some control of the outgoing steam. Hardwood and laminate floors benefit from minimal standing water during the cleaning process, and this is where a low flow of steam comes in.

The goal is to sterilize and clear grime with one swipe, leaving no moisture behind. Higher steam settings are best for carpet, tile, and grout applications.

Back to Top

Removable Water Tank

When reading steam mop reviews, you should check whether the one you’re interested in has a removable tank. Then, it will be much easier to fill it and clean it.

We frequently get the question: “Can I put vinegar in my steam mop, or will it damage the water tank?” Yes, since vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent and can neutralize smells, you can add it to your cleaning water and it won’t damage the water tank.

That same answer doesn’t apply to the “Can you put cleaner in a steam mop?” question, however. If the mop manufacturer states that you can add a cleaner, it’s okay to do it. But most mops are designed only to use water without a cleaning solution.

Heating Time

The faster your mop heats the water, the quicker you can start using it. Unfortunately, not all products have a fast heat-up time, and waiting for a long time for the water to get hot can be frustrating. If you don’t mind waiting, though, you don’t have to look for this feature in the mop you’ll get.

The Bissell Steam Mop we reviewed heats up in 30 seconds, which means it will be ready to use in no time. The Shark Steam Mop is another great alternative that heats water in half a minute. The one thing you’ll notice in the Shark steam mop reviews is that you’ll have to pump the handle to release steam.

Wide-Angle Swivel Head

A wide-angle swivel head means that you can get to hard-to-reach spots and corners without putting in too much effort.

As you read in our Bissell Powerfresh Slim Steam Mop review, this product has a wide-angle swivel head that’s easy to use and covers large areas. Another excellent product with swivel steering in the Bissell line is the Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop

Empty Light Indicator 

Did you know that some steam mops will let you know when they’re empty? This feature is helpful because you’ll know when to refill them just by looking at the indicator. Although it isn’t an essential feature, it’s very helpful because you shouldn’t use the mop when it runs out of water.

Continuous Steam 

Some mops are equipped with an on-lock button that will provide continuous steam. If a mop doesn’t have an on-lock feature, you’ll have to press a button and hold it for it to release steam.

This feature makes cleaning much easier and faster, especially if you need to cover large areas. For example, the Shark Genius Steam Mop provides a continuous stream; while the Shark Pocket Mop has a trigger you’ll need to press.


What is the best steam mop? The best product will be multipurpose, meaning that it will be safe for various flooring types. There are models of mops that allow you to apply them to tiles, linoleum, vinyl, hardwood floors, and even carpets.

Some even come with a detachable hand-held unit you can remove and use around the house.

Customizable Steam Strengths

This feature allows you to set the steam strength according to your needs. So you won’t always need to treat the floors with the same steam flow. For example, if you need to target stains, you should increase the strength, but you can work with lower stream strength when you’re doing a daily cleaning session.

Most hardwood, laminate, and vinyl floor manufacturers don’t recommend exposing these flooring types to steam; however, some mops are suitable for these floors if they have customizable steam strengths. So if you’ve been asking, “Can I use a steam mop on hardwood floors?” or “Can you steam mop laminate floors?” or “Can you use a steam mop on vinyl flooring?”, your answer is: only if your warranty allows it, if the floors are sealed, and if you apply a low stream flow. The Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940 has various steam levels you can control with the one-touch digital buttons. Because of this feature, it’s the best steam mop for hardwood floors on your list.

How to Effectively Use a Steam Mop

How does a steam cleaner work, and how should you use it effectively? Of course, each mop is different, but you should do a few things to ensure that you’re using it right.

If you want to learn how to use a Shark steam mop, a Bissell steam mop, or any other model, the best place to get educated is the instruction leaflet that comes with the product. Since all mops are built differently, they all function differently. Below, we go in-depth for all the basic steps to follow to get the best of your floor steamer mop.

Check for Proper Assembly

Check the instructions to see if you assembled the mop as recommended. If you’re using a cordless product, you have to charge it first. Before you start mopping, you need to sweep the floors and attach the mop pads.

Use the Right Type of Water

Distilled water is the best choice for your steam mop. Whichever water type you choose to use, it has to be low in mineral content because minerals can cause damage to the product.

Although we discussed this previously, we feel we need to mention it again. When people ask, “Can you put floor cleaner in a steam mop?”, our answer is no, unless the manufacturer clearly states you can. This is because steam mops only use water, and cleaning solutions can damage them.

Wait for the mop to heat up

How do steam mops work? Well, you pour in the water, and then you just wait. These mops are practical because they feature a heater that transforms the water into steam that you use to clean your floors.

After you ensure that you use the right type of water, just wait for it to heat, then start cleaning.

Prep Your Floor

Remove all the furniture you can, and sweep the floors. Next, vacuum the floors, ensuring there are no particles or dirt that can damage them. If there are particles, they can easily scratch the floor when you move them around with the mop.

Most people aren’t familiar with how to properly treat their flooring type. That’s why we often get questions like, “Can you use a steam mop on laminate floors?”, “Can you use a steam mop on hardwood floors?” and “Can you use a steam mop on vinyl plank flooring?” You can only treat these floors with steam if they’re sealed. 

Do a Spot Test

Do a spot test on your floors to make sure that it’s safe to use a steam mop. This device isn’t suitable for all flooring types; therefore, you need to read the manufacturer’s instructions and know your flooring type.

You can do a test by dripping a little water on the floor and waiting for a few minutes to see if the floor absorbs it. If it does, the floor should not be cleaned with a steam mop.

Can you use a steam mop on wood floors? You can only use steam on sealed wood floors; otherwise, you risk damaging your gorgeous floors. You should look for a special steam mop for hardwood floors that specifically states it’s safe for this flooring type. The same applies to floors like vinyl, laminate, and all other floors that can be sealed. 


Grab your mop and get to work. You should start away from the doorway and work your way through the room. The secret is to continuously move the mop without keeping it in the same spot for long.

Change the Mop pad

Now that you know how to use a steam mop, you should also know that you have to change the pad after each cleaning session. Some steam mops come with reusable pads, while others use one-time-only pads.
The Shark Steam Pocket mop is equipped with high-quality washable pads that can last around 20 cleaning sessions before you need to buy new Shark steam mop pads.

How We Ranked the Best Steam Mops

Due to their simplistic nature, there are just a handful of variables we considered when ranking the best products of this kind. Price, both upfront and recurring, is a top factor.

Reusable mop pads and no add-ons required for operation are also important in measuring a mop’s value.

A mop’s ability to clean with ease and efficiency, combined with helpful features and accessories, also holds some clout when weighing the options.


Cost is key when zoning in on the top steam mops on the market. A budget-friendly price tag is always a bonus, though if quality, function, or features are lost with the dollar drop, it might not be worth the savings.

Extra cost can open up some pretty fancy upgrades, so if the bells and whistles can justify the jump in price, the steamer rises in the rankings. We considered recurring expenses like replacement mop pads and necessary add-ons too, though most steam mops come ready to clean, and you will need few if any additional accessories.

Functionality And Effectiveness

A steam mop is only as good as its dirt eliminating capabilities. Tools, power cord lengths, large water tanks, and cleaning path widths can meld together to create an aggressive, easy-to-use floor cleaner.

On the flip side, too much cord, cheap construction, and unnecessary functions can bog down the steamy sanitation process. And lastly, a mop’s ability to produce consistent, piping hot, user-controlled steam is the most important consideration; without the puffs, you can’t clean the stuffs.

Consumer Reviews

The reports from existing owners are some of the best places to scope out insider details on a steam mop’s effectiveness and value. Quirks are uncovered and tips and tricks are revealed in these sometimes exceptionally detailed reviews.

In the ruthless world of consumer ratings, manufacturer claims of power cleaning capabilities are often validated, warranty issues reported, and day-to-day user experiences relived. These reviews also provide some real insight into what owners can expect when it comes to maintenance and upkeep.

Accessories And Upgrades

There are quite a few useful tools and accessories incorporated into some of the steam mops out there. While many owners are seeking a quality floor cleaning machine, these upgrades can add a lot of versatility to the mop.

Lift-away functions, adjustable steam settings, and arsenals of tools can really take things to the next level when it comes to deep cleaning, reaching tight spaces, and attacking applications beyond the floor.

Back to Top

Pros and Cons of Steam Cleaning

Still not sure if steam cleaning is the right floor cleaning option for you? Here is a quick summary of the most important pros and cons.


  • Short cleaning time
  • Dries faster than mop and water
  • Kills germs at high temperatures
  • Doesn’t require chemical cleaners
  • Environmentally friendly (no chemical to dispose of)
  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces


  • More expensive than traditional hard floor cleaning systems
  • Long drying time for carpet and upholstery
  • Very hot and so potentially hazardous when using

Back to Top

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Does A Steam Mop Clean?

Steam mops typically heat water to temperatures ranging between 200-275 degrees Fahrenheit. These scorching moisture molecules embed with grime to ease the extraction process. By applying this roiling, boiling moisture to surfaces, microscopic germs are neutralized and captured on contact.

A good steam mop does the dirty work, reducing or replacing the need for harsh, sometimes costly cleaning chemicals and eliminating the need for scrubbing and user-applied pressure during the cleaning process.

What Kind Of Maintenance Can I Expect With A Steam Mop?

Steam mops are simple to live with and require minimal effort to maintain. To keep the steam flowing, it’s best to use distilled or demineralized water rather than using tap water.

Most machines are susceptible to sediment build-up, and it may begin to affect steam production and temperature over time. Whether it’s cleaning the system or staying stocked with distilled water, a little bit of attention will be necessary.

The mops that made the rankings all come with reusable, washable mop pads rather than disposable ones. You can rinse and reuse pads during cleaning sessions and should wash and air dry them often. Users can expect a couple dozen wash and dry cycles before needing to replace the pads.

Once you have completed a steam cleaning session, you should empty the mop’s water tank of any remaining moisture. This can mean letting the remaining water run its course through the machine, or dumping the tank and allowing it to air dry (flat, if possible).

What Types Of Applications Benefit Most From Steam?

Most hard surfaces are prime steam cleaning candidates, and grout stains are particularly responsive to the dirt elimination method. You can spruce up grills, ovens, and other grease magnets with a steam cleaner. Typically, sticky stains don’t stand a chance.

Attachments allow for optimum upholstery and fabric steaming, and there are even window squeegee tools that come with some mops, allowing for streak-free glass cleaning without the use of special towels or chemicals.

You can often adequately refresh carpets with a steam mop, though certain existing stains may set rather than go away during the process.

What Kinds Of Upgrades Can I Expect With A Higher Priced Model?

More cleaning versatility and functionality (including vacuum combinations) tend to come at a higher price. Adjustable steam settings provide some flexibility in different cleaning applications.

If there’s more than one surface type to clean, these varying levels of steam can allow users to customize the production. Hard floors benefit from lower steam settings to prevent excess moisture build-up, while deep-cleaning grout jobs may require more steam, more often.

Automatic operation tends to come along with a jump on the price scale. Budget-priced models can need a little help in the steam production and administration process, so users won’t be fully free from traditional mopping woes. Automatic, constant steam means the mop handles everything except for the pushing motion.

Can I Put Vinegar In My Steam Mop?

You can add vinegar to your steam mop’s water solution for extra power when cleaning certain surfaces such as tiles, linoleum, and vinyl. However, vinegar should never be used when cleaning hardwood floors as it can break down the chemical finish, and it is also not advised for upholstery and other fabrics. But really, you shouldn’t need any more than just water to get your floors sparkling.

Can You Steam Mop Laminate Floors?

It is not advisable to mop laminate floors, as they are sensitive to moisture, so the steam can cause damage. Always check the care guidance for your floors before steam cleaning. Not only will this alert you if steam could potentially damage your floors, but it should also state whether steam cleaning might void your warranty.

Does Steam Cleaning Sanitize Floors?

When water is heated to at least 175 degrees, the steam is able to kill 99.9% of household bacteria and germs including E. coli and Salmonella. So, when done properly, steam cleaning is hygienic. And, because it does not require any chemical cleaners, safer for your home.

Which Is Better, A Shark Steam Mop Or A Bissell Steam Mop?

Bissell and Shark are two of the biggest names when it comes to floor maintenance, and it can sometimes be difficult to choose between their excellent products. As a general rule, Shark options tend to be a bit more affordable, but Bissell will pack in extra features that will appeal to many users.. So choosing the best one depends on your priorities.

What Is The Best Steam Mop For Carpet?

If you want a steam mop that can do both hard floors and carpets, then the O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop is a great option. It includes rollers that lift up the steamer so that it can float just above the surface of the carpet. The temperature is also adjustable, so you can select the right level of heat for the kind of carpet fiber you are dealing with.

What Is The Best Floor Steamer For Wood Floors?

While you can steam clean wood floors, you do need to be extra careful as too much exposure to moisture can damage the wood. This is why you need a cleaner with adjustable temperature and steam level settings like our top pick, the Light ’N’ Easy Steam Mop.

It can also clean without the need to use any chemicals, so you aren’t applying anything to your expensive hardwood floors that might cause them to discolor or otherwise get damaged.

The Verdict

Steam mopping is a safe and effective way to clean a variety of surfaces in your home. It allows you to release and remove dirt and grime without the need to use dangerous chemicals. It also tends to be a lot quicker and less “elbow grease” intensive than any other type of scrubbing.

You don’t want to spend a fortune on a steam cleaner, but you also don’t want to end up with a cheap stick that is a little better than a mop with an integrated bucket.

Generally, you want to look for something that effectively produces steam and allows you to control the temperature, as different surfaces will need different temperatures.

You will also want something with a long enough cord that you aren’t changing outlets every few minutes, and a big enough tank that you don’t need to constantly refill it. You also want something heavy enough that it doesn’t fly around, and light enough that it doesn’t break your back.

We have scoured the market for the top-rated steam mops, at the best price, and which have happy customers actually using the product in their homes. Our top three choices are the Light ’N’ Easy Steam Mop, Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop, and the Shark Steam Pocket Mop.

If you have any comments or first-hand experiences with steam mops, please post them below or share your pictures with us on social media.

About Maria Hernandez

Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

Back to Top

4 thoughts on “8 Best Steam Mops – 2022 Buying Guide”

  1. How long does the machine steam without stopping…I have bought 5 different ones the all leave streaks…they steam for about 5 seconds then I have to stop and wait…till it steams again…had a shark…for about 15 years…$50.00 is what I paid …new left a streak anywhere…pumped the handle and the steam came out steady…it was amazing…it finally quit…now I cannot find a good one…can someone suggest one…thanks

  2. Thanks for the comparison reviews. I am a little confused by them though since you say the #1 doesn’t get super hot like some others but none of the others seem to mention super heating the floor like you could burn your feet. I own the shark pro lift away pocket mop and have used it for many many hours. Not to be rude, but did you use these items yourself or are just summarizing other reviews? This steamer doesn’t have 3 settings called “dust”, “mop”, and “scrub”… it has 2 settings for use as a steamer mop “high” and “low”. The third setting is for the tools and is not really a setting since it’s your only option if you use the tools. Also, the mop head does not swivel around at all. You can quick release the pad off of the mop and then flip the whole steamer and easily slide the pad back onto the steamer to use the clean side. It’s pretty convenient and the pads can hold a ton of dirt.

    No matter how dirty my floors are, and they get pretty nasty sometimes, I can usually clean everything with one pass with the first side of the mop everywhere (which by the end is filthy) then flip to the clean side and go over everything again to get whatever nastiness remains, which is usually an extremely minimal amount. The pads are well made and a good combo of scrubbing fibers and softer ones to absorb liquid. My pads are still in really good shape (knock on wood bc they’re expensive to replace), but I hand wash them, never use bleach. I often microwave each pad after washing for 1 minute 3-4 times while still very wet to kill all the bacteria, then ring out totally and air dry.

    The wand tool is really strong but very, very loud and I no joke have giant ear muffs like you’d use on a shooting range since it’s really painfully loud and terrifies my cat. You can’t clean large areas by any means with it and doing so is a huge waste of time, although it’s great for getting in tiny crevices that are next to impossible to get with a sponge. I use it last for the 1% of areas that are impossible to get into otherwise, or for those really really stuck on spots and stains. This is where the tool is super amazing. It is such a powerful blast of steam that ancient stains, bleach and 100 washes can’t remove, but can oftentimes be erased with a minute or two of the steam wand. It’s really powerful and while it can only really be used for a very small number of jobs, they’re the ones that nothing else can clean. I guess it’s the super hot boiling steam combined with the pressure at which it shoots out that cooks the spots/stains/grime right out of existence… and they oftentimes seem to just disappear into the residue water.

    I’ve never used distilled water with mine and it works very well still. A few times it’s gotten weak steam but I think that’s due to inadequate voltage plug. I’ve used half white vinegar and water to clean it which I think does help, but I’ve noticed what helps to clean whatever deposits that are probably stuck on the heating element (which you can’t see) is to leave the steamer on like you’re about to use it for several hours. The heater stays primed so it can be quickly used, although it’s not actively making steam… for some reason this seems get the steam coming out good as new. I guess the low heat burns off the deposits and since it’s not adding new water none can be replaced. It’s designed to stay in this mode so it can quickly get cleaning when you leave it plugged in during use, and I’ve left mine on overnight on multiple occasions without any issues (although I don’t recommend leaving it more than a couple hours, and the manual says nothing about cleaning it in this manner or keeping it plugged in for extended periods). The vinegar cleaning method simply doesn’t work, though, and this seems to be the only thing that really does which I discovered by accident after leaving my steamer on overnight once. I thought it would be melted or broken but oh was I wrong.

    This steamer has really changed my life for the better. I also use it to cook with and I’ve never enjoyed more fresh cooking. It’s much easier to heat small meals with this than a traditional steam cooker and way faster if you’re a busy person like me. In only a few minutes I can cook up a small meal all without using appliances. Best of all, I can skip the dishwasher and just do a quick blast of steam to any dishes as long as there isn’t anything dried on saving me time and money – not using my boring dishwasher. After meals, on a low setting with a safe distance from the handle, I often use the wand tool to clean out my teeth and have never in my life had such pearly white teeth. I’ve entirely stopped buying toothpaste which is full of questionable chemicals like fluoride and also save on toothbrushes which I now only keep on hand to help my steam wand get my molars and hard to reach teeth. Not only is it keeping my mouth steamy clean, but I’m saving a ton of time getting ready for bed too because I can totally wash everything off my face in usually 30 seconds or less, leaving my pores nice and open allowing all of the toxins and dead skin to just get blasted right away. People who have known me for years have been commenting on how youthful my skin looks and when they ask I just tell them I use that Cindy Crawford cream…lol! If it’s really cold outside or the air is really dry, the mop setting on high can heat my small bedroom to the perfect temperature overnight and provides a really tranquil hissing sound I now can’t sleep without. I could go on and on but I don’t want to cause a run on whatever inventory exists for these since they are so truly special. I’m so blessed to have found the Shark pro steam mop and am always so delighted to discover a new use for “Bebop” the steam mop. <3

  3. I used to have a “Eureka” steam mop, and it was the best ever. I can not find another one that is as good. My main problem is that these other steam mops leave my floor soaking wet, & I have to go over them with a dry mop pad. If I do not use the highest steam setting, they do not clean my floor properly. What would you recommend the BEST product for me that would work as good as my “eureka”?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *