The Best Steam Mops of 2023

A handy steam mop can make cleaning floors a breeze. Our top picks are sure to make this chore hassle-free.

By Debbie Wolfe and Tiffany Lewis | Updated Nov 20, 2022 6:40 AM

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The Best Steam Mop Option

Photo: amazon.com

In most homes, the floor is the biggest surface to clean, making this chore tough to ignore. Steam mops are handy home appliances that remove dirt and grime. They also kill bacteria with hot, powerful steam. The best part is that using a steam vacuum cleaner eliminates the need to deal with buckets or cleaning solutions.

A majority of steam-mop manufacturers promise their products will get floors squeaky clean. After a thorough vetting, here are our top picks of the best steam mops available, sure to deliver on that promise.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Bissell PowerFresh Scrubbing & Sanitizing Steam Mop
  2. RUNNER-UP: Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: OApier S5 Lightweight Steam Mop
  4. BEST FOR TILE: Bissell PowerFresh Slim 3-in-1 Steam Mop
  5. BEST FOR HARDWOOD: PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner
  6. BEST FOR PET OWNERS: Bissell PowerFresh Pet Lift-Off 2-in-1 Steam Mop
  7. BEST WITH HANDHELD STEAMER: Bissell PowerSteamer Heavy Duty 3-in-1 Steam Mop
The Best Steam Mop Option

Photo: amazon.com

Before You Buy a Steam Mop

Most steam mops are generally safe for use on ceramic tile, grout, sealed wood floors, linoleum, or laminate floors, and some can even be used on carpet. However, buyers should always check the flooring manufacturer’s care instructions ahead of using a steam mop to make sure it can clean specific floor types.

If flooring is fragile, heavy-duty cleaning from steam mops may do more harm than good. The extreme temperature and moisture from steam cleaners may risk warping the wood, and this can include both hardwood floors and engineered wood flooring.

Here’s a tip: Before cleaning, test a small corner of the floor to see how it reacts to the steam. Many steam mops are suitable for most flooring types, but they should always be tested first just to make extra sure. If there is a noticeable change to the wood after a steam clean, consider an alternative cleaning method such as a vacuum cleaner-mop combo.

Our Top Picks

The best steam mops meet the needs of a range of budgets, work on multiple surfaces, help clean up after messy pets, and offer quality performance and convenience. All of the choices on our list do just that.

Best Overall

The Best Steam Mop Option: Bissell PowerFresh Scrubbing & Sanitizing Steam Mop
Photo: amazon.com

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

This mop boasts three steam settings—high, medium, and low—so that users can choose the best one for the type of flooring or stain. In addition, the 23-foot power cord and swivel steering make it easy to move around the room, cleaning all the nooks and crannies.

The Bissell PowerFresh 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; great households with kids and pets
  • Compatible with multiple floor types
  • 23-foot power cord is long enough for most homes
  • Swivel steering makes it comfortable and easy to operate

Cons

  • Some users report manufacturing defects
  • Smaller water tank will need refilling more often for larger homes

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

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, and 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

  • Users avoid touching dirty pads with touch-free release and double-sided pads
  • Flask helps users easily fill the tank without spilling
  • Round ergonomic handle allows for smooth and comfortable swiveling

Cons

  • Small tank is not removable; frequent refilling for larger cleaning jobs
  • Relatively expensive compared to other options with similar features

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

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Steam Mop Option: OApier S5 Lightweight Steam Mop
Photo: amazon.com

This OApier steam mop weighs in at only 3.5 pounds (without water). That light weight might not seem super impressive, but if cleaning an entire home, arms won’t tire out as easily carrying this mop. It heats water in less than 20 seconds, so cleaning can begin immediately. It’s also suitable for a variety of floor surfaces, including hardwood, ceramic, marble, and linoleum.

This model comes with only one mop pad, but it’s reusable and washes easily. The 15.2-ounce tank is also semitransparent to allow users a simple way to view the water level. Overall, it’s a good starter steam mop, especially in a small home.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. cordless: Corded
  • Number of steam settings: Adjustable manual pump
  • Tank size: 15.2 ounces

Pros

  • Heats in 20 seconds; almost no waiting before cleaning
  • Mop pad is reusable and washable
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver; ideal for larger homes

Cons

  • Single mop pad will eventually deteriorate, requiring new pad purchase

Get the OApier steam mop on Amazon.

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 users two options. It features a unique dual-mode configuration so it can be used as a traditional steam mop as well as a handheld tool that will clean smaller and harder-to-reach areas such as the tile in the shower.

This Bissell steam 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 percent adjustable
  • Tank size: 11.8 ounces

Pros

  • 3-in-1 capability; mop, power steamer, and handheld cleaner
  • Comes with many attachments; can clean more than just floors
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

Cons

  • Additional features make this model pricier than others
  • Distilled water recommended (not tap water)

Get the Bissell PowerFresh Slim steam mop at Amazon, Bissell, Macy’s, or Target.

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 steam modes on this mop from PurSteam make it an ideal choice for hardwood floors or tile. The different settings also help to clean tough stuck-on stains. This steam mop also boasts a sizable 11.5-ounce reservoir that allows for 20 to 25 minutes of cleaning on the lowest setting.

Apart from floors, buyers 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: 11.5 ounces

Pros

  • Suitable for hardwood, tiles, carpets, clothing, and more
  • Detachable mophead for precision cleaning; gets into tight corners
  • Affordable price point, especially considering its multiuse features

Cons

  • Limited reach with 15.9-foot power cable; extension cord recommended
  • Can be quite loud during use; vibrates on higher settings

Get the PurSteam steam mop on Amazon, Pursteam, or 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, and stovetops; inside a microwave; and in 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 that makes it easy to clean to those 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; ideal for multiple cleaning tasks
  • Comes with 13 tools to cover most household cleaning chores

Cons

  • Comes with 1 mop pad, which will eventually need replaced
  • Handle is not adjustable; slightly more of a nuisance to store
  • Heavy weight; not great for tackling homes with stairs

Get the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet steam mop at Amazon, Bissell, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wayfair, or Walmart.

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 access.

Product Specs

  • Corded vs. cordless: Corded
  • Number of steam settings: 2
  • Tank size: 12 ounces

Pros

  • Great all-around mop; suitable for indoor and outdoor cleaning
  • Built-in on-demand trigger makes it easier to control
  • 29 accessories included; can tackle almost any cleaning tasks

Cons

  • Pricier than other options on the list
  • Heavy; not suitable for extended use or those with weak wrists

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

Jump to Our Top Picks



How We Chose the Best Steam Mops

Steam mops can remove tough, stuck-on grime and dirt and can kill 99 percent of bacteria and germs. To find the best steam mops on the market, we researched steam settings and attachments, large tank sizes, and versatile constructions for a variety of cleaning tasks.

We also looked at product specifications and consumer reviews to gauge steam-mop performance for each respective category. Many of the mops listed clean multiple surfaces and messes, including hardwood, tile, pet messes, and dirt.

Though some of the best steam mops only come with one steam setting, select options are made with either 100 percent adjustability or three steam modes for tougher cleaning. Attachments and detachable handheld cleaning tools included with some models let users clean tiles, windows, and mirrors and can be used as a steam cleaner for clothing. Large water tanks also help users tackle big messes, minimizing refills while cleaning.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Steam Mop

Anyone searching for the best steam mop to clean their home’s flooring should know that a variety of factors can make one mop better than another. Room size, floor types, and steam settings are just a few considerations to keep in mind ahead of buying a steam mop. Here’s a closer look at several of these factors.

Corded vs. Cordless

Corded steam mops usually include a 20- to 25-foot cord, but some have longer ones in the 30-foot range. Cleaning floors without the need to unplug and replug the steam mop frequently while moving through rooms makes those with a long cord beneficial to anyone who has 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, battery-charge time should be considered. 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

Steam mops typically have different settings that make them suitable for various floors. These settings control the amount of steam coming out of the mop, which can be adjusted by floor type to avoid possible damage.

Cranking up the steam can release mud, crayon, and other stains, saving on time and scrubbing. For a deep clean, a steam mop needs to reach between 140 and 179.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some hardwood flooring companies advise against using steam mops on hardwood or engineered wood 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, 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’s 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 an attached reservoir.

Mop Pads and Cloths

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

It’s pretty common for a steam mop to include only one or two extra reusable pads. A larger quantity of extra pads and cloths are usually sold separately. Sometimes, third-party mop covers may also do the trick—these need to be bought separately, too. It’s always 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, making 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.
  • The empty-tank indicator displays when the tank is empty.
  • The ready-light indicator signals when the mop is ready to go.

Versatility

Almost every home has odd nooks and crannies that are nearly 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.

FAQs

While this guide attempts to address every detail shoppers need to know before buying a steam mop, many may still have unanswered questions about using and maintaining one, especially if they’re looking to buy the best type for their home. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about using a steam mop.

Q. What can you use a steam mop on?

Steam mops are generally safe for use on ceramic tile, grout, sealed wood floors, linoleum, or laminate floors, but always check the care instructions from the manufacturer to be sure.

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

The high heat and moisture of a steam mop can damage vinyl floors 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. With three adjustable modes of steam, it’s a safe option for hardwood floors.

Q. How do you use a steam mop?

Vacuum or sweep the floor.

  1. Fill water tank with distilled water.
  2. Plug in or turn on the steam mop, letting it heat up.
  3. Choose the steam level.
  4. Clean floors.

Q. How often can you steam mop?

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?

Typically, every 2 to 3 months. A mop pad should be replaced sooner if it collects stains or picks up a lingering smell.

Q. How do you clean a steam mophead?

Most steam-mop manufacturers provide detachable heads that can be thrown directly into the washing machine. They can also be washed with dirty rags and other cleaning materials.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.