The sloshing bucket and mop are a thing of the past now that steam mops have become commonplace.

They are a fantastic solution for everyone – from busy people to people who just need to do something quickly and easily because of a toddler screaming in the next room.

The best steam mop provides a deep clean complete with a sanitized floor, all without the extra work you would normally have to do to get the same clean feeling.

Comparison Table

Best Steam Mop for Wood Floors

a room with hardwood flooring

Wood floors have particular needs when it comes to cleaning the floor correctly. Not only do the mops have to be good at cleaning, but they also need to protect your hardwood floors. Ideally, you want to make sure your steam mop has adjustable levels for steam output and cushioned pads that will be nice to your floors.

O-Cedar

O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop with 1 Extra Refill
  • Heats from plug-in to steam in just 20 seconds.
  • Adjustable steam level settings.
  • Kills 99. 9% of bacteria* on floors without any cleaning chemicals. (Tested on E. Coli bacterium)

If you have a wood floor, the O-Cedar is going to be one of the best options for you. With its quick heating capability, you’ll love how quick it’s ready to go.

It comes with two microfiber pads that go around the triangle head made to easily attack the grime in any corner.

Lucky for you, if you choose this steam mop, you’re set for other floors, too, like tile or marble. Just remember to use the lowest setting on your wood floors, and you’ll love the way the floors come out when you’re done.

Pros

Cons

  • Super easy to use and works great
  • Some reviews say that their customer service is bad

Bissell PowerFresh

BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard...
  • Clean and sanitize sealed hard floors without the use of harsh chemicals. Eliminates 99. 9Percent of germs and...
  • Power through tough, sticky messes with the flip down easy scrubber
  • Choose from high, medium, or low steam based on your cleaning needs with the smart set digital steam control

This mop is a great choice for you if you have wood floors, and as a bonus, they’re relatively inexpensive, too. 

The microfiber pads are perfect choices for wood floors because they’re soft, effective, and will help polish your floors at the same time. 

You’ll also find a scrubber brush that can be useful if you happen to also want to use this steam mop on tiles. 

The long power cord is also exceptional and makes it easy to maneuver in larger spaces.

Pros

Cons

  • The optional adjustable steam levels, removable tank and speedy heat-up times make this unit convenient.
  • Competing machines come with accessories for cleaning clothes and other tasks.

Shark Professional Pocket Mop

Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop (S3601)
  • XL water capacity
  • Super-heated steam is ready in 30 seconds and provides 99.9% sanitization on hard floors with no harsh chemicals
  • Three levels of Intelligent Steam Control ensure you have the right amount of steam for every cleaning job.

One of the best things on the Pocket Mop is the way the mop head actually flips meaning you can use each side while you mop. 

The coverage for this steam mop is fantastic, too. The mop head is a foot long and has a large tank which means fewer refills. 

A double set of pads means that you can also keep an extra one ready to go. Plus, the steam settings are adjustable so you can turn it down or raise it as needed.

Pros

Cons

  • A smoothly-swiveling head makes this one easy to maneuver
  • This one just cleans floors while competing units steam windows, fabrics and other items

Reliable Steamboy

Reliable Steamboy 200CU Steam Floor Mop, Blue
  • Measures 10.5L x 12W x 50H in.
  • 1500W heating element
  • 11-in. cleaning path with swivel head

The Reliable Steamboy  was designed for hardwood flooring, making it the perfect choice for your hardwood floors. The highly cushioned mop pads wrap all the way around the mop head keeping your floors safe from potential damages. 

Another feature of the mop head is the triangle shape of the head that makes it easier for you to get into those hard to reach corners. 

You’ll also love that this steam mop gets hotter than its counterparts, which means less moisture is left behind on your hardwood floors.

Pros

Cons

  • Able to effectively remove sticky and oily stains from vinyl and tile surface
  • Cleaning cloths must be manually attached

Best Steam Mop for Tile Floors

Tile floors require mops that can get into the grout to get the grime that is otherwise hiding. You need to make sure you get a steam mop that can meet those needs.

Bissell Lift-Off Pet

BISSELL Lift-Off Floors & More Pet - Cordless
  • Dirt cup capacity - 0.7 liters. Buy BISSELL, save pets. BISSELL will donate $10 to BISSELL Pet Foundation for each Lift...
  • Quick And Easy Cordless Pet Mess Cleaning
  • 2-Way Folding Handle Reaches Underneath Tables And Stores The Product Compactly

Tile floors fare best with the Bissell Lift-Off Pet. With its scrubber brush that works great for grout or those pesky crusted food spots kids leave behind, you’ll love this steam mop. 

These mops come with scrubbing pads that will stretch to cover the mop head, making it easy to change the pads as needed. 

The versatility of the mop leaves you feeling fulfilled. With thirteen separate attachments, you’ll love all the ways you can clean all of the things. 

You can do upholstery, curtains, and even wood floors in addition to your tile floors. If you needed to pick a single mop to do all your cleaning needs, this one is an excellent candidate.

Pros

Cons

  • Lift Away feature adds versatility
  • Relatively small Dust Cup

Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System

Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System (S6002)
  • Clean and sanitize* sealed hard floors with washable, dual sided Dirt Grip pads
  • Touch Free Technology: never touch a dirty pad again
  • Steam Blaster attacks tough, greasy, stuck on messes

Shark has become known for its quality products, and this steam mop system is no exception. It’s also relatively inexpensive, which is always a good thing! 

The pads on the Genius have the ideal weave and texture to clean tile grout. The rows that grip the floor also mean you’ll scrub as you go. 

A steam spray feature also makes it easy to focus on a problem area without causing too much liquid to puddle on your floor.

Pros

Cons

  • Its ease of use and flexibility make it a top pick.
  • It can’t stand on itself

Shark Blast and Scrub

This steam mop comes in two different modes – normal and blast. If you have a particularly difficult area to clean, then you can even combine the two settings. 

Normal mode is best used for basic cleaning, but blast mode is great if you need to sanitize your tile or get into some deeper grout. The blast mode is designed to be able to get into deeper crevices to attack that nasty bacteria. 

There is an optional attachment nozzle as well as an extra hose to even clean above your floor level.

Pros

Cons

  • Help you maintain your bare floors clean and neat.
  • If the tank cracks, it would be disastrous.

Best Hybrid Steam Mops

For small spaces, you might not have the luxury of being able to store yet another appliance. If that’s your situation, consider a hybrid device that combines a vacuum with a steam mop.

Bissell Symphony

BISSELL Symphony Vac and Steam 2 in 1 vacuum and steam mop for...
  • Save time by vacuuming debris and steaming hard floors at the same time. Cleaning Path Width:11", Tank Capacity:12.8 oz
  • Sanitize with steam, using just water to eliminate 99.9% of germs and bacteria*. Surface Type:Hard Floors, Bare Floors....
  • Easy to use with Easy Touch Digital Controls, 5-way adjustable handle, and Quick-Release Mop Pad Tray - 4 mop pads...

Many people have a combination of floors, so if you fall into that category, the Bissell Symphony is your best bet. 

This machine combines a vacuum and floor cleaner in a single appliance, although it is geared for hard floors like tile or laminate. 

You will find multiple settings to adjust the amount of steam you’ll get as well as the temperature. 

The microfiber pads are also interlaced with Microban antimicrobial fibers which means you’ll get extra protection from nasty germs.

Pros

Cons

  • Steam can sterilize a mess far faster and effectively than anything else most home owners have at their disposal
  • If you have hard water, you cannot use the steam cleaner using tap water

Bissell Cross Wave

BISSELL CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner with Wet-Dry Vacuum, 1785A...
  • Vacuums And Washes Your Floors At The Same Time. Surface Type: Bare Floors
  • Multi Surface Machine Cleans Both Sealed Hard Floors And Area Rugs. Power Rating 4.4 Amps
  • Dual Action Multi Surface Brush Roll Uses An Innovative Microfiber And Nylon Brush To Mop And Pick Up Dry Debris At The...

For smaller spaces, the Bissell Cross Wave is a great option. It combines both a vacuum and a floor cleaner in a single machine. 

That means you can vacuum up your mess on any bare floor, and then you can follow it with a wet cleaning to really get the deep clean that you want. 

It is a little on the pricier side, but it’s a great way to go if you’re limited on space

Pros

Cons

  • Very affordable price.
  • High power consumption

H2O Mop X5

H2O Mop X5 Elite - 5 in 1 Steam Mop for Floors, Carpets, Hand-Held...
  • FLOOR MOP - In seconds 1300 Watts provides super hot steam to loosen dirt and grime while the microfiber lifts and locks...
  • CARPET CLEANER - The H2O X5 carpet glider lets you easily remove stains plus it helps deodorize your rugs!
  • HAND-HELD STEAMER - Click two simple buttons and your H2O Steamer transforms into the perfect hand-held steamer. It...

If swiveling heads and efficiency are your thing, then this steam mop is the mop for you. It is incredibly maneuverable as well as being one of the most versatile steam mops on the market. 

Another bonus with this mop is the way that you can choose from many different attachments. With these attachments, you can also steam clean your windows, carpets, and you can even steam your clothing. 

The mop also heats up quickly, which makes it ready for you to use instead of having to wait for it to get hot.

Pros

Cons

  • The H2O Mop requires only water to clean and disinfect floors.
  • The cord length is shorter than I would have liked.

How Do Steam Mops Work?

a hardwood floor cleaner

Steam makes things clean without needing any chemical additives or solvents, so using steam to clean is practically a no-brainer. 

There is a layer of steam that keeps your mop pad damp, which if you’ve ever used a regular mop, you know how important it is to keep your mop a little wet. When a traditional mop starts to dry, it starts to stick on the floor and not glide quite as effortlessly. 

Steam mops use the steam to keep the mop gliding smoothly while using the steam to loosen the dirt instead of the scrubbing you may be accustomed to. If you have a particularly difficult spot, all you need to do is keep the mop in place for a longer amount of time to give it more steam. The extra steam makes it easier to clean the trouble spot. 

The cloth pads you’ll find on steam mops also make them environmentally friendly because they’re usually reusable. You’ll save money by having pads that are reusable, and the environment benefits from the reduction in waste. 

That’s a win-win for you and the environment.

What Do Steam Mops Clean?

The obvious answer is your floor, but that includes a variety of surfaces from laminates to hardwoods and tiles to marble. You’ll even find that some models also have attachments that make it possible to spot treat your carpeting. 

Steam mops use high temp steam when they clean and sanitize your floors. The high temperatures will kill bacteria, mold, and other germs that you want to steer clear from, too. Since they don’t rely on using a bucket of water, you’re also not going to spread any germs that were picked up from the previous swipe. 

As you clean your floors, you’ll also realize it’s a lot easier to clean with a steam mop than a traditional mop and bucket. You can’t get much better than that.

Sealed or Unsealed? The Best Steam Mop

photo focused on sneakers stepping on a laminate flooring

When it comes to floors, the answer is always sealed. Your floors must be sealed for the mop to work safely on your flooring. 

Laminate flooring, as well as linoleum, are generally okay when deciding to steam mop. New tile and even new hardwood flooring should be okay, too, but if you’ve got cracks in the grout or cracks between your floorboards, you’ll want to have someone verify that your floors are, in fact, sealed. 

If you do not have your floors sealed, there is a lot of damage that can result. Wood floors are notorious for warping from moisture that doesn’t have the chance to escape. Steam mops can actually make wood floors worse if the floors are not properly sealed. 

You could end up with mold, ruined finishes, or even buckled floors if you’re not careful. To make sure you’ve got the best shot at doing well with a steam mop, follow the instructions in the manuals. 

Manuals are not just packing materials. Read them because they’re essential if you value your floors. If you see negative reviews, they’re usually from people that didn’t follow the directions or precautions appropriately. Don’t be those people. 

The question remains, do steam mops live up to their reputation? It may be difficult to tell when you’re looking at different items online, but we aim to help you by bringing you genuine and unbiased reviews. 

Without further adieu, let’s get started

Some Quick Tips for Choosing the Best Steam Mop

mops and cloth used to clean the house floor
  • Read your manual. Seriously, read it and understand what it says you should do. Also know what you need to avoid, like unsealed floors, so you get the desired result from using the steam mop. 

  • Use filtered or distilled water. You’ll see that some people say they use tap water and it works just fine, but to increase the lifespan of your mop, that’s not best practice. Minerals found in tap water can cause problems, so use the recommended water for your mop. 

  • Let the steam mop do its job. If you have a spot that doesn’t clean up after the first pass, give it some more steam. At the same time, don’t put a lot of pressure on your mop when you scrub. Take your time if you have to and let the steam do the work. 

  • Have realistic expectations. If you have a heavy-duty mess on your floors that includes more than just your everyday surface stains, a steam mop might not do the trick. Consider a canister-style cleaner for the power you’ll need for work like that. 

sweeping floor before using steam mop
  • Vacuum or sweep first. It’s just good housekeeping to sweep or vacuum your floors first to get the loose dirt or other loose particles like pet hair before using the steam mop. Use the mop for the hard-to-get problems.

Selecting The Best Steam Mop for Your Space

When you have decided to purchase a steam mop, compare the price point and what you get in the box. Some will include attachments while others will have the option available as an extra buy. No matter what you’re looking for, weigh your choices, and you’ll be sure to find one you love. 

Now go out there and buy the best steam mop for your home!

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