What’s worse than stepping on a sticky spot on your beautiful, authentic hardwood floors? Uh, nothing. Yet, with kids and pets, it can be impossible to keep everything clean. The solution? A steam mop that can swiftly remove stains and scuffs from your floors—all while disinfecting your home. Read on for everything you need to know about these game-changers, plus seven of the best steam mops on the market right now.
These 7 Best Steam Mops Will Take Your 2022 Spring Cleaning Game to the Next Level
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Is Steaming Floors Better Than Mopping Floors?
We’ll answer your question with a question: How does a hamburger taste without a bun? The answer is “incomplete,” and it’s the same school of thought for a traditional mop. The key difference between the two is that steam mops use heat to kill bacteria and remove spills and stains. On the other hand, traditional mops simply absorb dirt and dust (and have zero disinfecting properties). Plus, steam mops spare you from lugging around a massive bucket of water, and most come with several settings and disinfection options that give regular mops a run for their money.
Is a Steam Mop Worth It?
The short answer: Yes. Not only is a steam mop a must-have for large families or homes with constant foot traffic, but its steam can kill pathogens like COVID-19, according to Paula Cannon, Ph.D., a professor of microbiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles. “Viruses come ‘shrink-wrapped’ in a layer of fat that helps them to survive in our bodies by acting as a type of stealthy covering,” Cannon told Consumer Reports. “Because heat and steam will kill viruses, such mops will certainly be able to kill viruses…think of it as being melted, if you like, by high temperatures…Once that happens the virus particle is no longer intact and can no longer infect anything.”
Furthermore, these mops come in clutch when it comes to cleaning large messes quickly. They’re designed to be an all-in-one solution that eliminates the need for lugging heavy buckets and excess cleaning supplies. All you have to do is press a button and swap out a dirty mop pad to rid your home of sticky floors and tough stains.
The Best Steam Mops at a Glance
- Best Overall: BISSELL Powerfresh Slim Steam Mop
- Best Value: PurSteam Steam Mop
- Best For Hardwood Floors: Shark S5003D Genius Steam Mop
- Best For Tile Floors: Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe 1806
- Best For Laminate Floors: LIGHT 'N' EASY Multi-Functional steam mop
- Best Cordless: Bissell SpinWave Steam Mop
- Best for Pets: Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop
Looking for something that can clean everything from hardwood and tile floors to grout, sinks, countertops, stovetops, showers and upholstery? No, this isn’t a scam. The BISSELL 2075A doubles as a handheld steam cleaner and a steam mop that allows you to steam and disinfect virtually *anywhere* in the home. Its on-demand trigger dispenses the right amount of steam to hardwood, ceramic, linoleum, granite and marble floors, while its slim, lightweight design makes it easily maneuverable around corners and crevices. However, what makes this guy the real winner is its additional cleaning tools, which include everything from a fabric steamer, angle concentrator, grout tool and wall mount (for storage) to a flat surface tool and bristle scrub brush—all of which can attach to the end of the steamer (even when it’s handheld). “Man, oh man. I love the thing! The scrubber pads don’t pull off on our brick/rough concrete grouted floors, it heats up super fast, and it’s so light to pick up and carry around from room to room (which is nice since it doesn’t have wheels),” writes one reviewer.
Need the best steam mop on a budget? This 10-in-1 cleaner can be used as a steam mop, garment steamer, mirror and glass cleaner and more—all for less than $75. It comes with three adjustable settings that cater the mop’s steam to your selected surface, and its 11.5-ounce reservoir allows for 20 to 25 minutes of steaming on the lowest setting. Not to mention that it’s safe to use on laminate, hardwood, tile and carpet and can convert into a built-in handheld device. But don’t take our word for it—this one has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating, based on a whopping 30,800 reviews. “About [two-thrids] of our home has ceramic tile flooring in espresso brown and matching grout. I was never able to fully remove the white dust from construction from the dark grout, so looking at working 1,500 square feet with a toothbrush, I decided to try this steam mop first. I am just thrilled with the results! The white residue is completely gone, and the floor feels silky smooth and super clean,” raves one reviewer.
Best For Hardwood Floors
If you feel like your sponge mop just isn’t cutting it on your hardwood floors, it’s probably time for an upgrade. However, as we all know, you want to be really careful about what you’re using to clean your home’s authentic wood floors. That’s why we love this option: It’s specifically designed to sanitize hardwood floors without ruining them or leaving streaks. Simply use one of its washable, reusable pads (included) and set the steam on low to take your living room from dull to sparkling. Plus, this one can be used on any type of sealed floor (i.e., marble, tile, stone, ceramic, etc.), and it has a ‘touchless’ design that allows you to attach and release the mop pad without ever having to actually touch it. “Where has this thing been all my life? I have hardwood floors and I've always been told you can't wet mop or steam mop…I've tried many different types of cleaners from Murphy's lemon oil to Pine Sol, to Bona, and everything in between. The cleaner(s) always left a residue that was dull and sticky, and I felt like my floors weren't getting cleaned,” writes one reviewer. “With [this] steam mop, my floor is actually getting clean. The pads seem to pick up the dirt like a magnet. And this did not damage my ancient hardwood floors.”
Best For Tile Floors
Need something that can really get in there with your grout and tile? Say no more. This one features a zig-zag pattern head that provides unique scrubbing power across textured tiles and sealed surfaces—and it glides over grout grooves with ease. Furthermore, when you feel your tiles need an extra polish, this one comes with a stiff-bristled scrubbing pad that is designed to remove caked-on dirt. Plus, it also comes with scent freshening discs (an eight-pack, to be precise) that provide a boost of “spring breeze” scent during steam cleaning. “I actually feel legitimate love for this inanimate object,” writes one reviewer. “I have steam cleaned my entire house in the last 24 hours and I cannot believe how dirty everything actually was!! Even things I thought had been cleaned well. We've only lived here for three years, and have maintained the floors in the same condition they were in when we moved in. I always assumed the grout was just dark. Wrong-o!! The kitchen floor was absolutely disgusting, and cleaning even a 5-foot x 5-foot area results in a totally black pad.”
Best For Laminate Floors
Just like hardwood, laminate floors can be tricky to clean. If you’re not careful, you can risk warping the planks and shrinking them with too much heat. Luckily, this steam mop uses up to 212 degrees of steam to remove stains and stick—without ruining your laminate, marble, tile, grout, ceramic, stone, vinyl or sealed wood flooring. Plus, it was designed with three different intensity settings (high, medium and low) and a touch sensor that stops steam immediately (on the off chance warping occurs). One reviewer writes: “I was able to mop all of my floors in less than 10 minutes, and that includes set up and storing it afterwards. I couldn't believe the amount of dirt it was able to pull up and does it all with JUST STEAM. That’s right...water is the only thing you need for this steam mop, and it kills 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria. Then you just take the reusable pad off, wash and reuse.”
Steam mopping your floors is an undertaking in and of itself—and there’s next to nothing that sets us off quicker than having to stop and untangle a cord when we're in the zone. That’s why we love this cordless option. Not only does it use an 18-volt battery to provide up to 20 minutes of cordless cleaning, but it comes with powerful spinning mop pads that do the work for you. Plus, it’s safe to use on tile, sealed wood floors, laminate, linoleum, rubber floor mats and more, and its spray trigger allows you to control how much formula to dispense while cleaning. “The spinning action makes cleaning way faster and when there is a tough spot, I can add a little pressure with my foot on top and it comes off right away,” writes one reviewer. “For people with a normal amount of dirt you probably don't need it, but I can't go back to the other options after using this. The spray feature is also way better than the Bona or Swiffer.”
Best for Pets
Need something that’s safe to use around Scout the Sheepdog (while cleaning up his hair)? Say less. This model features a powerful cyclonic vacuum that can suction pet hair and debris while providing 1,100 watts of steam that’ll make your surfaces sparkle. Plus, it includes a microfiber soft pad, scrubby pad, detachable mop pad tray, detachable Steam boost tray, and four (!!) Swiffer BISSELL Steam boost disposable pads that are totally safe to use around pets and kids. “The vacuum on the Pet Steam Mop is wonderful as it sucks up the hair from my two Border Collie[s]. They have clumps of hair, and I didn't expect it to be able to vacuum it up, but it did with much power. The steamer is wonderful—my wood/tile floors look amazing,” one reviewer shares, adding that the cord is very long too (which is great for large spaces without needing to reset everything every few feet).