12 Best Steam Mops in 2018
When you love to clean, there’s nothing like getting a brand new weapon to add to the cleaning closet to help you combat dirt, grime, and germs.
Probably one of the ickiest places that you can find all three is on the flooring, and no matter how hard you try to stay on top of them, they always manage to return.
From dog prints to spilled juice; soccer cleat goop to old chewing gum; there are plenty of reasons to own a steam mop when you have hard flooring.
It’s true that there are quite a few models out there that you could spend your money on, but in our guide, we’ll be highlighting the top 12.
We will also provide you with useful shopping tips that will help steer you toward the right one for your needs and budget, then finish the guide with reviews of the five best steam mop models.
Top 12 Steam Mops Comparison Table
|Design||Name||Accessories?||Best Feature||Rating (1-5)|
|1. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop|| 1 Microfiber Pad|
|Triangular Shaped Head||4.4|
|2. Bissell 1806 PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop|| SpotBOOST Brush|
2 Mop Pads
|SpotBOOST Brush and Scented Discs||4.4|
|3. Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop Hard Floor Steam Cleaner|| 2 Mop Pads|
|4. Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop|| 1 Rectangle Mop Head|
1 Triangle Mop Head
|Three Levels of Steam||4.3|
|5. INLIFE Steam Mop Adjustable Steam 360° Swivel Mop Floor Cleaner||1 Cleaning Pad and Carpet Glider||360° Swivel||4.3|
|6. Shark Steam Pocket Mop||1 Microfiber Pad||Large Water Tank||4.2|
|7. Shark Steam and Spray Mop||1 Bottle of Cleanser, 1 Disposable Pad, 1 Washable Pad 4 AA Batteries||3 Cleaning Modes||4.1|
|8. Bissell 1132A Symphony All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop|| 2 Soft Mop Pads|
2 Bristled Mop Pads
|Doubles as a Vacuum||4.0|
|9. BISSELL Steam Mop Select, Titanium||2 Microfiber Pads||Triangular Mop Head||4.0|
|10. Bissell 1544A PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop||Squeegee, Fabric Steamer, Detail Brushes, Extension Hose, Corner Tools||Lift-Off Handheld Cleaner||4.0|
|11. BLACK+DECKER BDH1725SM SmartSelect Steam Mop||2 Microfiber Pads||Long Cord||3.8|
|12. Gruene Clean System Steam Mop & Hand Held Steamer w/ Attachments||Window Washer, Squeegee, 2 Nylon Round Brushes, 1 Brass Brush, Angle Nozzle, 2-Foot Hose||Lift-Off Handheld Cleaner||3.5|
Steam Mop Only or Vacuum/Steam Mop Combo?
Yes, there is that option.
Although it is a bit ambitious for a manufacturer to attempt mixing a vacuum and a steam mop, Bissell wasn’t afraid to do it, and we’ve included their Symphony All-in-One model for you in our top 12.
One of the biggest appeals to opting for a combination vacuum/steam mop is the fact that you’ll save space. When you have one unit that can tackle two big tasks, you don’t have to deal with two separate units that take up a monstrous amount of space in your home.
It’s something to consider if you’re looking for a highly convenient solution.
Other Features to Consider
Choosing the best steam mop means taking all details – both great and small – into consideration.
- Shape of Mop Head – There are pretty much two choices: rectangular or triangular.
- Rectangular – When you have a larger area to clean, the rectangular mop head is the best choice. You’ll be able to clean wider areas with each pass, which will cut your cleaning time down significantly.
The bad thing about rectangles is that they don’t fit easily into tight spaces (even if you turn them sideways, they aren’t always as thorough).
- Triangular – Triangular mop heads can get in those hard-to-reach areas, and they just happen to be much better at cleaning the corners.
If you only have small areas of your home that have hardwood, tile or vinyl flooring (e.g. bathroom, laundry room, entryway), then a triangular head might be much more convenient for you.
- Replacement Pads – One thing we encourage you to do is see how easy it is to find replacement pads for the base of the unit since you’ll need to buy pads that are specifically designed to fit the particular model you have. It is nice that you can wash and reuse the pads (most manufacturers provide you with microfiber pads), but even so, you can only wash them so many times.
Calculate the cost of extra pads into your cleaning budget because you’ll probably need to buy them several times a year.
- Tank Capacity – Smaller tanks are better for smaller cleaning jobs, just as larger tanks are better for larger cleaning jobs.
If the water tank capacity is small and you have a relatively large space to clean, then it will be a pain to have to stop and refill it several times to get you through your cleaning session.
We wouldn’t eliminate a mop just for this feature, but it is something to think about as you shop.
Water and Chemicals
Some of the most frequently asked questions regarding a steam mop are regarding the type of water you should use in them and whether or not you can add any cleaners.
As a rule of thumb, most steam mops are designed so that you don’t have to add any chemicals (the steam will sterilize the surface naturally), and adding them may actually damage the system.
We would advise against any extra “ingredients” and stick with water, although some have used a few drops of essential oil and we can’t see that being an issue.
As far as the water goes, we’ve seen some units that specifically require distilled water, and the reason is so that you avoid lime scale buildup. It’s the same concept as with an iron.
If the mop manufacturer doesn’t mention anything about using distilled water, but you live in an area with extra hard water, then we would suggest that you try some distilled water and see how it goes.
Top 5 Best Steam Mop Reviews
Got a small floor area to clean? Then get a small steam mop like this one! The O-Cedar is perfect for tackling the smaller areas and tight corners.
We love that it is such a lightweight unit (only five pounds) and that it heats up quickly (20 seconds are you’re on your way to steaming away the germs).
You can use this on all sealed flooring, including tile, vinyl, laminate and even wood.
Another reason why this was one of our favorite steam mops is that you can use it to clean carpeting, too.
It comes with a carpet glider that allows the mop head to sit up off the carpeting (it’s not exactly easy for microfiber to glide over carpet) so that you can steam away the bacteria and germs from there, too.
Our only complaint with it is that you can’t see how much water is in the tank, which means you either need to open it and check manually or wait until you notice that it isn’t creating any more steam.
Other than that, we were really pleased with the mop and would highly recommend it if you have a wide variety of surfaces to clean in your home!
Find replacement pads here.
Bissell dominates the steam mop category since they have come out with so many different models. We included five on our list, each one of them with different strengths and weaknesses, but it’s all about having choices, isn’t it?
How was our experience using it:
- Water tank was easy to fill, and you can fill it while you’re using it
- Detaching handheld unit had a scrubber brush on the bottom, which made removing sticky messes a piece of cake and cleaning grout
- Has both High and Low steam settings
- Cord was long (25 feet)
- One pad is soft, and the other is scrubby; both are washable
The scented discs are nice if you like fragrance, but we can see that this would be useless to any of you who are sensitive to smells.
This is a very user-friendly unit, and to us, it is definitely one of the best steam mop models on our list.Here you will find replacement pads.
The other Bissell we looked at was the 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop. There are some similarities but also some differences, which we will discuss.
Both models have the scented disc slot, and they come with the same two cleaning pads. You also have the same High/Low steam settings that the Deluxe model had, but this one does not come with the SpotBOOST Brush.
While the brush may be missing, it does have a built-in scrubber that you can flip down on the back to work away any sticky messes.
If you have large areas to clean, then this is the mop you want since the head is large and it will cover more surface area in less time.
This is probably one of the most popular choices on our list and for a good reason: it does an excellent job of steam cleaning your flooring without breaking the bank.
The same replacement pads that you use for the previous Bissell model are also what you will use on this model.
Shark is a tough competitor of Bissell, and both offer great products. One huge advantage that the Shark Ninja has over the other mops is the fact that it has two cleaning heads: one triangular and one rectangular: that’s like having two mops in one, and allows you to reach any area of your home.
One huge advantage that the Shark Ninja has over the other mops is the fact that it has two cleaning heads: one triangular and one rectangular: that’s like having two mops in one, and allows you to reach any area of your home.
We like that it heats up quickly (30 seconds) and how easily the head swivels. The three steam modes are also great since you can go from light steam (dust mode) to mop mode for dirt and grime and scrub mode to help you with the sticky messes.
Some users swear by their Shark and feel that the competitors can’t even compete.
If you’re torn between a Shark and a Bissell, and you haven’t tried either, we would say start with the Shark.
Our final steam mop is from INLIFE.
In just 15-20 seconds, you’ll be steaming your way across the floor at a scalding 248° Fahrenheit, and it actually has the same three steam modes that the Shark does: dust, mop, and scrub.
We really liked the 360° swivel head feature (you can twist it and turn it to navigate your way around everything), and it comes with a carpet glider just like the O-Cedar model did: that means you can use it on all types of flooring without having to use separate appliances.
It’s nice that they provide you with three different cleaning pads (one for dust, one for bigger sticky messes and one for carpets, but the cord was unfortunately on the short side.
The overall quality of the unit is phenomenal, but so is the asking price. If you don’t mind plunking down the extra cash, then this will probably outlast the others.