Steam mops are an extremely useful tool for household cleaning. They are pretty easy-to-use, are fairly inexpensive and can clean a variety of floor types from tile and linoleum to vinyl and sometimes even carpets. They build on the design of the mop by adding the sanitizing and cleaning benefits of steam. And it’s this combination that gives them such great cleaning ability. It’s also the reason I believe everyone should have one in their home.
Check the top list below for the best you can find on the market right now.
Unsealed Hardwood Floor?
As good as steam mops are around the home, there’s one surface that they aren’t meant to be used on and that’s unsealed hardwood floors. While they can be used on sealed wood floors, using them on unsealed ones can result in wood damage and that’s why you might want to try a wet mop together with a hardwood floor cleaner on your unsealed wood floors instead of a steam mop.
It's easy to use, fairly lightweight and ecofriendly. It's cheaper than many comparative models and carries a 2-year warranty. To me, it's a winner.Read Users' reviews
While it's a little more expensive than I would like it to be, it does a very good job with day-to-day cleaning.Read Users' reviews
All things considered, I think that this is more than a decent steam mop - one I would recommend.Read Users' reviews
While it wouldn't be my first choice in a steam mop, it's still a good choice for those looking for a budget conscious model.Read Users' reviews
While it didn't clean the grout on my tile floors, it did a good job of cleaning just about everything else.Read Users' reviews
The Benefits & Drawbacks Of Steam Mops
I have always felt like steam mops are some of the best cleaning devices on the market. While I didn’t buy the best steam mop when I first started researching steam cleaners, I feel like I do have the best steam mop today. However, that wasn’t because I stumbled onto the best one but only because I did a ton of research and read I don’t know how many steam mop reviews on the Internet. It was only after that I began to gain some proficiency in finding the ones that are best for the job.
As great as they are though, they can’t handle every single job put to them. Just like all of the rest of the steam cleaners, there are areas in which these devices excel and areas in which they don’t do so well. In the past, the only way to tell if the best steam mop was the one right for your chores was to try it out or check out a ton of steam mop reviews – like I did.
Today, I want to save you all that trouble by giving you a guide that will tell you the areas in which steam mops excel and the areas in which they fall flat. Hopefully, this guide will give you a few things to think about as you are searching for the next best steam cleaner. And hopefully it will save you a lot of time in the process. So without further adieu, let’s get started, shall we?
The Pros Of Steam Mops
As you can tell from most steam mop reviews, these devices really can do a whole lot of things. However, there are some things in which they really excel and have a clear advantage over canisters, handhelds or multipurpose steam cleaners. Let’s examine some of these pros:
They’re Excellent For A Variety Of Floors
One advantage to steam mops is they can clean a variety of different floors. They can clean hardwood, vinyl and linoleum. They can even be used on carpets, although I’d use them to freshen them and not to do any heavy-duty cleaning. While I don’t normally use them for grout, they also do a great job at cleaning tile – as long as they aren’t too messy. Overall, I think steam mops can handle a variety of different floors for day-to-day cleaning.
Steam Mops Are Inexpensive
Another thing that I like about steam mops is that they are relatively inexpensive. While handheld steamers are the most inexpensive steamers out there, steam mops are still less expensive than most canisters and multipurpose steamers. In fact, while there are some steam mops that cost over $100, the vast majority of them are under $100. Something to think about if you are on a budget.
They Are Fairly Lightweight
Sure, steam mops aren’t as small as handheld steamers, but they can be about the same weight. You see, most canister and multipurpose vacuums weigh well over 10 pounds and some of them even weigh over 20 pounds. However, steam mops usually weigh under 10 pounds and a lot of them are around 5 pounds. Which makes them easy to carry throughout the house.
Steam Mops Are Easy To Use
Another thing about steam mops are that they are often the simplest steam cleaners to use, except for maybe handheld steamers. Steam mops are easy to put together and are pretty easy to operate. From the time you take them out of the box to the time they are being used, they are often quick and easy. They are also usually very easy to fill and refill.
The Cons Of Steam Mops
As I’ve stated previously, even the best steam mop can’t handle every job flawlessly. There are some things that it just doesn’t do well. Here are a few cons of steam mops:
Not For Heavy-Duty Messes
If your floors or carpets are really, really dirty, then a steam mop might not be the best steam cleaner for you. That’s because these devices are really only good for day-to-day cleaning. They just aren’t designed for huge messes or for professional cleaning. If you need something to remove tough messes, then you probably will need to buy a canister steam machine.
Not Really All That Versatile
Unless your steam mop has attachments, then it is probably only good for cleaning floors or freshening carpets. While there are some steam mops that have detachable handheld steam cleaners that can be removed for other cleaning jobs, the majority of steam mops are only good for cleaning floors. You certainly won’t use your steam mop on your grill, shower door or bathroom grout.
Some Can Streak Certain Floors
If there is one problem about steam mops that is often cited in reviews, it’s the fact that even the top steam mops can occasionally streak certain floors. While not every steam mop on the market will streak the floor, quite a few of them do. Steam mops are certainly more likely to cause streaks on certain types of vinyl and linoleum than other types of steamer cleaners.
The Final Analysis
Well, that just about covers all of the pros and cons of steam mops. Hopefully, this guide will help you determine if steam mops are right for your cleaning needs or if you need something like a canister, multipurpose vacuum or handheld steamer. As you can see, steam mops are good for day-to-day cleaning of floors and are really simple to use.
Whether they are right for your household or cleaning routine can really only be answered by you. If you want to know the pros and cons of other steam cleaners – like canisters, multipurpose vacuums or handheld steamers – then please check out my other guides. Or if you have decided that you need a steam mop, then please check out my reviews to find the one that is best for you. Hopefully, you’ll find everything you need on this site to make an informed decision about which steam machine to purpose. After all, that was my goal.
Chances are, if you’ve been doing any sort of research for a steam mop, then you’ve probably seen the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop mentioned a few times. And there’s a good reason for that. At the time of this review, it was one of the best-selling steam mops out there. When I was searching for a steam mop, it seems like everyone and their mother had to have one of these, so naturally I decided that I needed to check it out for myself. After all, there had to be a reason it was so popular, right?
When I finally got my hands on the Powerfresh Steam Mop, I noticed a few things about. One, it was really easy for me to put together. It took me under five minutes to snap it all together and install one tiny little screw. Once I had done that, then I was ready to give it a proper testing by mopping a few surfaces in my home.
Before I could use it however, I had to set it up for use. Which was fairly easy. All I had to do was add water, put on a pad, plug it in and I was ready to go. I started out cleaning my bathroom floor – which is ceramic tile – to see how easily it could maneuver between the sink and the toilet. It did surprisingly well. When I first unpacked it, the mop head looked a little wide (it’s about 13 inches wide to be exact) but it was able to maneuver because it has a triangular shop and it was attached to the body with a joint that allowed easy movement. It did a fantastic job on the ceramic tiles, and I was even able to clean the grout by applying a little pressure to the flip down scrubber. However, I also noticed that you have to be very careful while doing this because the steam that comes out of this thing is pretty hot and it can be easy to get burned if you get your foot to close. Fortunately, you can set the heat level to one of three presets (low, medium or high) and that can minimize the risk of getting accidently burned by the steam. This feature also customizes your cleaning experience as well.
One of the things that I really like about the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop is that it doesn’t require any chemicals whatsoever. Which really makes it ecofriendly, at least in my book. And you would think that with not having to use any cleaners, then you would have less of a cleaning experience. However, that’s simply not the case. The steam was hot enough to sanitize the floor and the Fabreeze discs did a good job of leaving a nice clean scent—not just on the floor but throughout my entire home.
However, while my experience with this steam mop was exceedingly favorable, there are a couple of things that didn’t feel right. For one, I really didn’t know what to think about the always-on steam. Sure, it was easier on my hands not having to hold down a trigger, but at the same time there were instances I wanted the steam off and I had to resort to unplugging. This kind of cuts down on the convenience factor.
All things considered though, I thought that this steam mop did a pretty good job on my floors. Even the sealed hardwood floor in my dining room. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. If you spend a lot of time trying to steam clean a small area, then there might be water buildup that contributes to a streaky floor.
I think the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop is a winner. It’s easy to use, fairly lightweight and is ecofriendly. And considering that it is cheaper than many comparative models and carries a 2 year warranty, then I think you really can’t go wrong with this model steam mop.
It's easy to use, fairly lightweight and ecofriendly. It's cheaper than many comparative models and carries a 2-year warranty. To me, it's a winner.
- Very easy to use
- Low profile allows unit to get under cabinetry easily
- Assembles easily with only a screwdriver needed
- Ergonomic: No trigger to hold down while mopping the floor
- Simple to use
- Easy to refill
- Extended warranty
- Cord is shorter than other steam mop models
- Always-on steam
- Can leave streaks on floor while sanitizing
When I first saw the Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop (S3601D), I thought it looked a lot like the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501). Sure, it had a smaller looking mid-section but it still looked like it’s older and cheaper brother. However, sometimes looks can be deceiving.
It’s 51.2 inches long and has a mop head that is about 12 inches wide. It has an extra-long tank that holds 15 ounces of water and uses 2-sided pocket pads. With all of these features similar to the (S3501), you would think that these were just 2 identical models. They aren’t though and the proof is in the use and features of this unit.
One of the big differences is the pads this one uses seem to be a bit higher quality. They not only feel more durable but they also have what you could consider little fingers – extra material like a shag carpet is probably another way to put. This allows the pads to scrub the floor better than the previous model. I’m still not a fan of the pocket pads, but since I’ve gotten used to them, they aren’t as hard to attach to the mop head as they once were. Plus, these pads can be used on one side and then flipped over and used on the other side. So you can say that I’m softening to the use of pocket pads and are beginning to see their positive side.
Another thing that makes it different from the previous model is that you don’t have to pump it. One of the biggest annoyances of the S3501 was that you had to push in the telescoping handle to get a dose of steam. With this one you don’t. That’s because the steam is always on. Sure, I’m not a big fan of always-on steam either. It often means you have to continuously plug and unplug the unit. However, it does have its benefits too. I didn’t have to struggle to get a dose of steam and I don’t have to constantly hold down a trigger. That makes it a bit better.
I did like the fact that this unit came with two quick release mop heads. You get a rectangular one for just cleaning the floor straight-on and then there’s a triangular one that can fit into corners. This improved the range and the usefulness of this unit by a whole lot.
What I really liked about this unit is that you can set it to one of three different levels of steam. You can set it to “dust” and basically just use the unit like a broom. Using it in this way puts down a minimum of steam, which means the floors dry a whole lot quicker. The second setting is “mop” and that puts down more steam and a little more water. This allowed me to pick up more dirt and power through some light stains. The final setting is “scrub” and it provides the most intense level of steam. I found that is really powers through stains, and I have no doubt that it sanitizes to a 99.99% sanitation level. However, when I used this setting I found that it sometimes left streaks on the floor or made the floor look dull. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the pad is thick and doesn’t get moist enough.
However, for the most part, I think the Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop (S3601D) did a pretty good job on all of my floors – on the ceramic tile, the linoleum and the sealed hardwood. Its swivel head moved around and underneath my cabinets very well and the steam was pretty hot. It couldn’t get the ground-in dirt in my tile grout, at least not with the included attachments.
Overall, I think the Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop (S3601D) is a pretty decent steam mop. While it’s a little more expensive than I would like it to be, it does a very good job with day-to-day cleaning. It would be nice if the sanitation feature didn’t streak as often as it does, but that doesn’t happen every single time. I think for the most part most people would like how well this steam mop works.
While it's a little more expensive than I would like it to be, it does a very good job with day-to-day cleaning.
- Extra-large capacity tank
- Very quiet
- Easy To Assemble
- Pads are reversible
- 3 Levels of Steam
- Reaches corners and under cabinets
- Kind of expensive
- Steam is always on
- Sometimes streaks or dulls floor surface during santitation
- Doesn't clean grout
The Hoover TwinTank Steam Mop (WH20200) is a steam mop that I read a number of great things about and couldn’t wait to try it out for myself. However, I do have to say that after trying it out for a couple of days, during this trial, I noticed there were a number of things I liked about it and a few things I really didn’t care for. If you have a few moments of time, then let me explain in further detail.
The first thing that I noticed about this unit was that it was quite easy to assemble. All it took was removing it from the carton and snapping the handle into the unit. Pretty easy, if you ask me. I also noticed that the two tanks are easy to take out of the unit, fill and put back on. All you have to do is to grab them by their sides and they can easily be removed. So far so good on getting it all assembled and ready to be used.
However, this is when I ran into my first problem – the location of the power button. The button is right in the middle of the unit. Therefore, every time you had to turn it on or off, you had to bend over to do it. It would have been much more convenient if the button was located on the handle instead of the body.
As you might have noticed from the name, the Hoover TwinTank Steam Mop (WH20200) uses a two-tank system. One tank holds water and one tank holds a disinfecting solution. This dual tank system, along with the dialed control system of the unit, allows you to customize your cleaning experience. By turning the dial you can select one of four options: 1) Steam only, 2) General cleaning with solution, 3) Spot cleaning with solution, 4) Tough stains with solution. Turning the dial, however, doesn’t control the amount of steam. It only controls the amount of the solution used.
What controls the steam in the trigger on the handle? And this is where I ran into my next problem with this unit. To depress this trigger, you need to exert quite a bit of force on it. So much in fact, that it can cause your hand to cramp. I fixed this problem by taping it down, so the unit is always on, but that sort of took away the control I had over the steam. So I just decided to deal with the hand cramping while pulling the trigger.
I used the Hoover TwinTank Steam Mop (WH20200) using all of the cleaning options on the dial. I used just steam, I used it with solution, spot cleaning and for some really tough cleaning, and I have to say that this unit worked marvelously in all respects. This thing can really pick up tough dirt – both with the solution and with just steam. The only problem I had with using the solution, was that I felt it left my floors kind of tacky. However, that was quickly fixed with a quick run-over with just steam. The only thing it won’t clean is tile grout – so if you’re looking for a unit that does that, then you might want to look elsewhere. For me, it wasn’t a big deal but it is something to mention.
All things considered, I think that this is more than a decent steam mop. While it has a few design flaws that make it not as ergonomic as it should’ve been, I think that it cleans like a champ. And I also think that its main feature – the dual tanks – will prove invaluable to all those who use it. You can just get a whole lot more clean without having to fill up the tanks all of the time. Overall, I think the Hoover TwinTank Steam Mop (WH20200) is a product I would recommend.
All things considered, I think that this is more than a decent steam mop - one I would recommend.
- Disinfects & sanitizes
- Easy to maneuver
- Long-lasting water tanks
- Heats up quickly
- Mop head reaches hard to reach areas
- Easy assembly
- Extended warranty
- Trigger is not ergonomic
- Power button is inconvenient
- Won't clean grout
- Using cleaning Solution can make floors tacky
Today, I am reviewing a little steam mop called the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501). I’m calling it small, although it really isn’t very small. Sure, it’s lightweight – under 5 pounds – but thanks to its telescoping handing it’s about 51 inches tall. Not very large but certainly not one of the smallest steam mops I’ve ever used.
I’ve been waiting to get the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501) for some time because I was pretty excited about some of the features I keep hearing about. Particularly, the extra-large water tank, the telescoping handle and the “Steam-On-Demand” feature that it so heavily brags about. So I put this steam mop, and all of its features, to the test at my home and what follows is my experience.
The first thing that I noticed about this product was that it was a stick style steam mop with kind of a big belly. Of course, its pot belly is the water tank which has a built-in window (so you can see when it needs refilling) and holds about 15 ounces of water. That’s a pretty good amount of water for any steam mop to hold. That’s definitely a plus and puts it into the upper limit of water storage for steam mops. The next thing that caught my attention was that it had a decent length cord (another good sign). It seems like I’m always struggling with cord length with these steam mops, but this one was a lot better than some of the other ones I’ve used.
This steam mop had a swiveling mop head that was about 12 inches wide and it used a pad that was a little bit different than what I was used to using. Instead of using a pad that just attached to the bottom, it used a pad that wrapped around the whole mop head called a pocket pad. These pads are pretty thick and they can be flipped around so you can use both sides. Which I can see being a big time saver. However, if you aren’t familiar with them, then putting them on and securing the velcro pads can be a pain.
Once I filled up the XL tank, secured the pad and plugged the unit in, I then proceeded to take it on its rounds around my house. Notable, my linoleum kitchen floor, my sealed hardwood dining room and my tile bathroom floors. While it did an adequate job on all three surfaces, picking up dirt and stains, there were a couple of issues I had a problem with and need to be discussed.
I noticed that this unit only produced steam when the telescoping handle was compressed. This is because this is the Steam-On Demand Feature. A feature that is supposed to save water because it only delivers steam when you need it. However, I noticed that it also made the unit harder to use. Every time you wanted steam, you had to compress the handle, which became tiring after a while. I appreciate the idea behind this feature, but its implementation is far from perfect.
Another thing that I noticed was that with the Steam-On Demand feature and the thickness of pads, it was really hard to lay down a lot of steam. This makes this unit a lot “drier” than other units, which increases drying time, but it also increases the amount of work needed to get the floor done.
Sanitizing is another trouble spot for this unit. Sure, it will sanitize up to 99.99 % efficiency, but you have to linger over a spot for almost 10 seconds to get that benefit. If I have to spend 8-10 seconds on each spot of the floor that I want to sanitize, then I’m going to be cleaning all day. Definitely not what I’m looking forward to doing.
While this steam mop isn’t as quick or efficient as other steam mops, it has a few things going for it. One, it’s cheaper than most of its competitors – sometimes by as much as 30%. It’s also lightweight and holds a lot of water – which means having to refill it a lot less often. Another thing going for it is that it heats up pretty quickly. While the Shark Steam Pocket Mop (S3501) wouldn’t be my first choice in a steam mop, it’s still a good choice for those looking for a budget conscious model.
While it wouldn't be my first choice in a steam mop, it's still a good choice for those looking for a budget conscious model.
- Very lightweight
- Extra-large capacity tank
- Very quiet
- Better than average cord length
- Pads are reversible
- Not enough steam
- Can be hard to use at times
- Will not clean grout
- On-Demand feature can be demanding
- Sanitizing can take too long
Today, I’m trying out the O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop. Before I bought this steam mop, I didn’t even know that O-Cedar made steam mops. I knew they made those handy spin mops (my neighbor has one), but I didn’t know they made other products. Anyway, I have had the opportunity to use it for a few days and wanted to pass along my thoughts on it.
My first impression of this steam mop is that it’s really lightweight. By far, it was one of the lightest steam mops I’ve ever used. It didn’t take much effort at all to push it along my floor or my carpet. However, while using it I did feel like it was not only lightweight but maybe not as durable as it should be. I’m not saying that it’s flimsy – after all, I’ve used it several times without a problem, it just feels like it. Of course, I guess it’s really just a balance between its weight and its durability. You can’t really expect a 5-pound unit to feel indestructible.
The next thing I noticed was that it snapped together really quickly and without tools. In about 2 snaps I had it together and ready to work. I also liked the fact that it had a cord that wasn’t too long but wasn’t too short either. For me, it was just the right length to get the job done.
What I didn’t like about the unit was how it had to be filled. It comes with a custom measuring cup so that you can put exactly 400 ML of water into the unit. However, there is no place to hang the cup on the unit. Which means you have to keep going back and getting it when you want to refill it. They could have at least put hooks on the steam mop to hang the cup. Definitely not convenient in my book.
However, I did like the fact that once you started the O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop, it produced steam within 20 seconds. Yes, you read that right. It was fully heated in under half a minute. And I’m talking about quite a bit of steam, too. Hot enough to kill 99.99% of the bacteria on the floor – not just as listed in the features, either. No, you feel like it’s killing all of the bacteria off of the floor.
The mop directions said it could be cleaned on all hard floor surfaces, even carpet, which really excited me. So I gave it a shot. And I had mixed results. While it cleaned all of my floors perfectly, it had a few problems on my carpet. For one, the carpet glider attachment kept snapping off for some reason. Then I checked it and realized that I didn’t have it snapped on all the way and had to fix it. Once I did that, it seemed to work just fine. Although I have to say that using this steam mop only freshens your carpet, it doesn’t deep down clean it.
All things considered, it did a pretty good job on my floors. While it didn’t clean the grout on my tile floors, it did a good job of cleaning just about everything else. This thing really puts out a ton of steam and sanitizes the floor without any chemicals. It also should be said that while it isn’t the most inexpensive steam mop, it isn’t the most expensive one, either. The O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop seems like a fine steam mop and if I had to buy it again, I wouldn’t hesitate.
While it didn't clean the grout on my tile floors, it did a good job of cleaning just about everything else.
- Heats up in 20 seconds
- Adjustable steam levels
- Easy to assemble
- Custom measuring cup is a pain
- Carpet snap-off tends to snap off too easily
- Doesn't feel very sturdy