The Best Steam Mops of 2022

A handy steam mop can make cleaning floors less of a hassle.

By Debbie Wolfe and Tiffany Lewis | Updated May 11, 2022 9:33 AM

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The Best Steam Mop Option

Photo: amazon.com

Since the floor is the biggest surface to clean in most homes, it’s hard to ignore that cleaning chore. Steam mops are handy home appliances that remove dirt and grime while killing bacteria with its hot, powerful steam. The best part is that using a steam vacuum cleaner eliminates the need to deal with buckets or cleaning solutions.

When choosing a steam mop, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Continue reading to learn how to navigate the features and factors when choosing the best steam mop. The following mops are some of the best picks on the market, having been vetted thoroughly in the selection process.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Bissell Power Fresh Steam Mop
  2. RUNNER-UP: Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
  4. BEST FOR TILE: Bissell Powerfresh Slim Steam Mop
  5. BEST FOR HARDWOOD: PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1
  6. BEST FOR PET OWNERS: Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop
  7. BEST WITH HANDHELD STEAMER: Bissell Power Steamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop
The Best Steam Mop Option

Photo: amazon.com

Before You Buy a Steam Mop

Steam mops generally are safe for use on ceramic tile, grout, sealed wood floors, linoleum, or laminate floors, and some can be used on carpet. However, always check the care instructions from your flooring manufacturer to avoid accidentally voiding a warranty.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Steam Mop

When searching for the best steam mop for a home, there are a variety of factors that can make one mop better than another. Some of these features can include the size of the rooms, the types of floors, and the steam settings desired. Below are details about these and more factors to consider.

Corded vs. Cordless

Corded steam mops usually come with a 20- to 25-foot cord, but some have longer cords in the 30-foot range. Cleaning the floors in a home without needing to frequently unplug a mop and then plug it into another outlet is often an ideal scenario. So, a long cord is helpful for those who have large spaces to clean.

Another option is a cordless steam mop that relies on batteries. The best cordless steam mops have a battery life of at least 1 hour. However, depending on the size of the home, an hour may or may not be enough time. For this reason, looking at battery charge time is a good idea. Some steam mops need up to 2 hours or more to charge. If the job needs to be done in one pass with a cordless mop, having extra batteries can help avoid the need to stop mopping and waiting up to 2 hours for a charge.

Steam Settings

Some steam mops come with different steam settings that make them suitable for various floors. These settings control the amount of steam coming out of the mop so that it can be adjusted based on floor type to avoid possibly damaging flooring.

The different settings also are great for tough stains. If floors can take the heat at any temperature, cranking up the steam for mud, crayon, and other stains can save time and scrubbing. For a deep clean, look for a steam mop that reaches between 140 and 179.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some hardwood flooring companies advise against using steam mops on hardwood or engineered floors. If the floor manufacturer says it’s OK to use steam, the best steam mop for wood flooring is one with an adjustable steam control and an absorbent mop pad that leaves minimal moisture on the floor’s surface. According to The National Wood Floor Association (NWFA), using steam or excessive water might damage a wood floor over time.

Water Tank Capacity

Steam mops have a built-in reservoir that holds water, so there is no need to lug a bucket around. Tank size varies, but a bigger tank allows a longer cleaning session. The average water reservoir holds about 11 to 13 ounces. For most models, that means it will take between 20 and 30 seconds to heat up before it will produce steam.

Having a larger tank also makes the mop heavier, and a smaller reservoir is lighter but it has to be refilled more often. The best water reservoir capacity depends on these weight and time considerations, especially on how much square footage is typically cleaned at a time.

A removable water tank makes filling and emptying the reservoir easier. Mops with an attached tank require using a cup to fill the reservoir. Plus, the mop will have to be turned upside down to empty one that has an attached reservoir.

Mop Pads/Cloths

Most steam mops come with washable, reusable pads made from terry cloth or microfiber. The cloths are typically machine washable (on the delicate cycle and with minimal detergent) and can last for a couple dozen cleanings.

The mop might come with only one or two extra reusable pads, but extra pads or even third-party mop covers that will fit your mop can be purchased separately. It’s a good idea to have extras on hand to avoid running out during a mopping session.

Ease of Use

Several features affect the usability of a steam mop and make it easier to control, carry around, and operate.

  • Weight affects how easy or difficult it is to carry the steam mop around a room and a house. The lighter the steam mop, the easier it is to use.
  • Swivel heads will get around corners and furniture, eliminating struggles while cleaning around items in a room.
  • Detachable steam generators allow steam cleaning other areas of the house, like appliances, windows, and countertops.
  • Empty-tank indicator will show when the tank is empty.
  • Ready light indicator signals when the mop is ready to go.

Versatility

Almost every home has odd nooks and crannies that are almost impossible to clean. Like traditional mops, steam mops have different features depending on the model purchased. Some of these options include swivel mopheads and detachable components for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas in a home. Some steam mops include a detachable handheld steamer for cleaning curtains, appliances, and other surfaces.

Many steam mops come with several attachments that serve a different purpose. Some options include attachments for deep cleaning, scrubbers, extra cleaning pads, upholstery tools, ironing attachments for curtains, and squeegees for windows and glass. Though these bells and whistles can make the mop more expensive, they also make it a more versatile cleaning tool for the entire house.

Our Top Picks

It can be tough to wade through the options to find the best steam mop. To make it easier, below is a collection of the best steam mops that meet the needs of a range of budgets, work on multiple surfaces, help clean up after messy pets, and offer quality performance and convenience. One of these steam mops may be the perfect tool to help make mopping easier at your home.

Best Overall

The Best Steam Mop Option: BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop
Photo: amazon.com

The power fresh steam mop from Bissell kills 99 percent of germs and bacteria. The flip-down scrubber makes it easy to clean the tough stains, as it reaches the grout and crevices.

The steam mop boasts three steam settings of high, medium, and low so that the user can choose the best setting for the type of flooring or stain. In addition, the 23-foot power cord and swivel steering make it easy to reach around the room and in all the nooks and crannies.

The steam mop comes with a microfiber soft pad, a microfiber scrubby pad, two spring breeze fragrance discs, and a carpet glider.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. Cordless: Corded
  • Number of Steam Settings: 3
  • Tank Size: 16 ounces

Pros

  • Kills 99 percent of germs
  • Compatible with multiple floor types
  • 23-foot power cord
  • Swivel steering

Cons

  • Some users report manufacturing defects

Get the Bissell Power Fresh steam mop at Amazon, Walmart, and Sears.

Runner Up

The Best Steam Mop Option: Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System
Photo: amazon.com

One of the worst parts of steam mopping can be handling removable pads after mopping. The Shark Genius can help. It features unique double-sided pads to take cleaning further and a touch-free release so there’s no need to handle the damp, dirty cleaning pads.

This mop has three steam settings, including an option for blasting stuck-on dirt. The steam can be controlled based on the floor surface or grime level. It comes with two dual-sided pads and a flask to fill the tank. This model is easy to use right out of the box. The only downside to Shark Genius is that the tank isn’t removable.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. Cordless: Corded
  • Number of Steam Settings: 3
  • Tank Size: 11 ounces

Pros

  • Double-sided pads with touch-free release
  • Flask included for filling
  • Ready-to-use design

Cons

  • Tank is small and not removable
  • Expensive price point

Get the Shark Genius steam mop at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Sears.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Steam Mop Option: O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
Photo: amazon.com

This O-Cedar steam mop weighs in at only 5 pounds. That light weight might not seem super impressive, but if mopping an entire home, arms won’t tire out as easily with a low weight. It heats water in less than 20 seconds, so cleaning can begin immediately. It also has a cleaning attachment that will help freshen a carpet.

This model comes with only one extra mop pad, and the water reservoir is opaque, which makes it difficult to keep an eye on the water level. However, it’s a good starter steam mop, especially in a small home.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. Cordless: Corded
  • Number of Steam Settings: 100% adjustable
  • Tank Size: 13.5 ounces

Pros

  • Heats in 20 seconds
  • Cleaning attachment for carpet included
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Tank is opaque; hard to gauge the water level

Get the O-Cedar steam mop on Amazon and at Sears.

Best for Tile

The Best Steam Mop Option: BISSELL Powerfresh Slim Steam Mop
Photo: amazon.com

Tile floors have bumps and crevices that can be hard to clean. Although a standard upright steam mop may be just what’s needed for most tile floors, the Bissell Powerfresh Slim steam mop gives two options. It features a unique dual-mode configuration so it can be used as a traditional steam mop and as a handheld tool that will clean smaller and harder-to-reach areas such as the tile in the shower.

The Bissell mop features a variety of accessories: grout tool, angle tool, flat scraper tool, and bristle scrub brush. An onboard storage kit can carry the tools while steam-cleaning. This mop can clean any tile surface in a home with ease.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. Cordless: Corded
  • Number of Steam Settings: 100% adjustable
  • Tank Size: 12 ounces

Pros

  • 3-in-1 capability; mop, power steamer, and handheld cleaner
  • Comes with many attachments
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

Cons

  • Expensive price point
  • Distilled water recommended (not tap water)

Get the Bissell Powerfresh Slim steam mop on Amazon.

Best for Hardwood

The Best Steam Mop Option: PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1
Photo: amazon.com

Different flooring requires varying steam levels. That’s why the three adjustable modes of steam on this steam mop from PurSteam make it an ideal choice for hardwood floors or tile. The different settings also help to clean tough stuck-on stains. The steam mop also boasts a sizable 340-millimeter reservoir that allows for 20 to 25 minutes of cleaning on the lowest setting.

Apart from cleaning floors, users can use this steam mop to clean carpets, steam garments, and wash windows, mirrors, glass, and other areas throughout the house. The handheld detachable steamer makes all these jobs simpler, and the supplied accessories can be used for different tasks.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. Cordless: Corded
  • Number of Steam Settings: 3
  • Tank Size: 340 ml

Pros

  • Suitable for hardwood, tiles, carpets, clothing, and more
  • Detachable head for precision cleaning
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Cord is short; limited reach

Get the PurSteam steam mop on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best for Pet Owners

The Best Steam Mop Option: Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop
Photo: amazon.com

This pet steam mop from Bissell cleans and sanitizes various areas throughout the house. Not only does it eliminate 99 percent of germs and bacteria on floors, but the detachable handheld steam cleaner can also clean a variety of pet accessories, like beds, bowls, toys, and carriers.

The handheld mop also can clean grime on grout, countertops, stovetops, inside a microwave, and kitchen and bathroom sinks. The steam mop comes with 13 versatile tools, a microfiber soft pad and scrubby pad, odor-removing discs, an attachable water cup, and a microfiber towel. It has an extension cord for hard-to-reach places.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. Cordless: Corded
  • Number of Steam Settings: 2
  • Tank Size: 13.5 ounces

Pros

  • Eliminates 99 percent of germs and bacteria
  • Detachable handheld cleaner
  • Suitable for multiple surfaces
  • Comes with 13 tools

Cons

  • Only comes with 1 mop pad
  • Handle is not adjustable
  • Heavyweight

Get the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet steam mop at Amazon, Walmart, and Sears.

Best with Handheld Steamer

The Best Steam Mop Option: BISSELL Power Steamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop
Photo: amazon.com

This versatile Bissell steam mop allows users to clean floors, high up and hard-to-reach places, and so many other areas. It has a steam mop and two steam cleaners: extended reach and handheld. Users can clean the house, garage, workshop areas, boats, ATVs, patio furniture, and more.

The steam mop comes with varying steam modes and an on-demand trigger to control the intensity and amount of steam released from the mop. In addition, it comes with 29 accessories for tackling indoor and outdoor messes, and it can be conveniently stored with a wall mount for easy and convenient access.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. Cordless: Corded
  • Number of Steam Settings: 2
  • Tank Size: 12 ounces

Pros

  • Steam mop and 2 steam cleaners included
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Built-in on-demand trigger
  • 29 accessories included

Cons

  • Expensive price point

Get the Bissell Power Steamer steam mop on Amazon and at Walmart.

Our Verdict

The Bissell Power Fresh is an excellent pick for many households since it has 3 steam settings that kill 99 percent of germs and bacteria, it works on multiple floor types, and it has a 23-foot power cord. For more robust features, consider the Shark steam mop, which comes with double-sided pads with touch-free release, a flask for refilling the tank, and comes ready-to-use.

How We Chose the Best Steam Mops

Compared to traditional mops, steam mops are able to get tough, stuck-on grime and dirt and can kill 99 percent of bacteria and germs. To narrow down the top steam mops on the market, we searched for multiple steam settings and attachments, large tank sizes, and versatile constructions for a variety of cleaning tasks.

We researched product specifications and consumer reviews to gauge steam mop performance for each respective category. Many of the above mops are capable of cleaning multiple surfaces including hardwood, tile, pet messes, and dirt.

Though some of the best steam mops only come with 1 steam setting, select options are made with either 100% adjustability or 3 steam modes for tougher cleaning. Attachments and detachable, handheld cleaning tools included with some steam mops also allow for cleaning tiles, windows, mirrors, glass, and even a steam cleaner for clothing. Large water tanks also help you tackle big messes and save you from having to refill the tank multiple times per cleaning session.

FAQs

Now that you know more about steam mops, there may be new unanswered questions popping up. For more information about the best steam mops, check out these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If additional concerns arise, contact the manufacturer.

Q: What can you use a steam mop on?

Steam mops generally are safe for use on ceramic tile, grout, sealed wood floors, linoleum, or laminate floors, but always check the care instructions from your flooring manufacturer to avoid accidentally voiding the warranty.

Q: Why aren’t steam mops safe for vinyl floors?

It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid using steam mops on vinyl floors. The high heat and moisture can cause damage if seams or adhesives are breached.

Q: What is the best steam mop for hardwood floors?

One of the best options for hardwood floors is the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner. With the three adjustable modes of steam, it is a safe option for hardwood floors.

Q: How do you use a steam mop?

  1. Vacuum or sweep the floor.
  2. Fill the water tank with distilled water.
  3. Plug in or turn on the steam mop, and then let it heat up.
  4. Choose the steam level output (if this is an option).
  5. Have extra clean pads on hand, in case you need to switch them out while cleaning.
  6. Wash your floors.

Q: How often can you steam mop?

Clean as often as needed. Once a week is fine, but you might want to clean more often if you have a busy household with kids and pets.

Q: How often should I clean my steam mop pads?

Once the mop pad starts to collect stains or picks up a lingering smell, it is due for a deep cleaning. Many mop pads are also replaceable and can be swapped out for a new one every two to three months, if needed.

Q: How do you clean a steam mophead?

Most steam mop manufacturers provide detachable heads that you can throw directly into the washing machine. You can wash them with dirty rags and other cleaning materials. You can usually use bleach if you like.