The Best Steam Mop

I’ve written quite a few articles for Wirecutter, researching and testing residence items like slicing boards, heating pads, and bathroom brushes. I additionally personal a greater than 100-year-old residence with roughly 1,500 sq. toes of hardwood ground, together with sealed tile and stick-on vinyl. I co-own a coworking house with each engineered wooden flooring and tile within the rest room. In brief, I’ve spent loads of time evaluating merchandise, and much more time cleansing flooring.

Let’s start by taking a look at who doesn’t want a steam mop. Steam mop producers declare their merchandise work on a spread of flooring, however most flooring producers—together with firms that make hardwood, engineered hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and stick-on vinyl tile flooring—explicitly warn in opposition to using steam mops. In truth, utilizing a steam mop will normally void your ground’s guarantee. Flooring maker Armstrong wrote in a strongly worded weblog submit about steam mops (since faraway from its web site) that you must, on no account, ever use a steam mop, particularly on hardwood or engineered-wood flooring.

Our personal testing confirmed that these merchandise have the potential to break flooring. Every single steam mop we examined, on all settings, left behind a superb quantity of water on the ground. Flooring maker Armstrong plainly prohibits utilizing water (not to mention steam) to wash any hardwood flooring, as does TrafficMaster, Anderson, Bellawood, Heritage Mill, and plenty of others. The steam itself combines moisture and warmth, which might break down the adhesive holding engineered items collectively, inflicting flooring to swell and buckle. The warmth can discolor and injury even seemingly impervious supplies, like vinyl—testing two steam mops for a couple of minutes on the stick-on vinyl ground in my laundry room brought on cloudlike white spots to type.

Some flooring are protected to wash with a steam mop, although. Glazed tile, sealed granite, and most different sealed stone flooring normally will come out of the cleansing undamaged. Luckily, that is additionally the sort of ground that steam mops work greatest on. We interviewed Jolie Kerr, host of the Ask a Clean Person podcast, proper after she had completed testing a steam mop for {a magazine} assessment. On Kerr’s tiled rest room, the steam mop glided, cleaned up effectively, and “received issues clear in a means that I’ve by no means felt I may get with an everyday mop,” she stated. On her parquet-style hardwood flooring (which she stated she was not anxious about, as a result of they had been “so outdated and beat up, nothing can hurt them”), the steam mop didn’t do any higher than every other mop. “I had excessive hopes it could get extra dust off the ground than regular. I used to be anticipating some sort of steam magic, which could have been unrealistic, nevertheless it wasn’t magic.”

There are just a few extra issues to know when deciding if this product is best for you. The steam produced by these mops is kind of sizzling, sufficient that it’s a must to wait a superb 3 to five minutes earlier than you’ll be able to change a pad. Using them for various minutes in a closed room makes the room itself uncomfortable. When you flip off a steam mop, it emits steam for typically 30 extra seconds, so it’s a must to discover someplace to boost or take away the still-hot, moist mop otherwise you’re nearly sure to break your ground.

Last, steam mops usually tout advantages equivalent to sanitizing flooring and killing micro organism. This could or might not be true (we didn’t check). Do you actually anticipate your ground to be sanitary, or keep that means for any size of time? We don’t, and neither do most researchers.

The steam mops examined for this information. Front row, from left: Bissell 1940 PowerFresh, Shark Genius Pocket Mop S6002. Middle row, from left: Shark Steam Rocket, Shark Blast & Scrub, Bissell Steam Mop Deluxe 31N1. Back row, from left: Reliable Steamboy Pro 300CU (obscured), Hoover FloorMate SteamScrub Touch Hard Floor Steamer.

Knowing their limits, we targeted on discovering steam mops that appeared dependable, accessible, and in style, and we stayed away from people who promised excess of we knew they may ship.

We additionally learn as many proprietor opinions as we may, though steam mop opinions on Amazon are closely influenced by reviewers supplied with free samples by just a few firms. Reviewers additionally usually fail to specify the kind of flooring they’re cleansing, or recommend makes use of for his or her mop that most individuals ought to keep away from.

The Bissell PowerFresh does the perfect job of cleansing, cornering, and never being a ache to refill. Photo: Kevin Purdy

Our choose

Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940

The greatest steam mop

The PowerFresh made cleansing simpler than different steam mops did due to its gentle weight, maneuverability, and uncomplicated operation.

Buying Options

If it’s a must to purchase a steam mop for one or two small rooms value of glazed tile or sealed stone, you should purchase the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940. It was the simplest mop we examined to push round, get into corners, or tilt below sinks, tables, or different low surfaces. The PowerFresh’s detachable water tank is much simpler to take away, fill, and change than the rivals. It gives steady steam, which is extra handy and comfy than pump handles or triggers, with three ranges of depth. It doesn’t weigh greater than others, appears to be like inoffensive, and may stand by itself whereas most steam mops can not. The PowerFresh has tens of hundreds of constructive opinions from house owners, its pads are comparatively straightforward to take away and clear, and it sells for lower than many different steam mops we discovered.

The Bissell PowerFresh was by far essentially the most agile steam mop when it got here to low angles and corners.

If you’re going to decide to cleansing sure flooring with steam, you need to have the ability to clear all of that ground. The Bissell PowerFresh’s versatile joint and the form of its cleansing head (rounded on one aspect, flat on the opposite) permits you to get proper up in opposition to a ground edge, or into and round rounded areas. Its deal with and tank can dip decrease than most different steam mops, so the steaming head maneuvers beneath sinks and different furnishings. The PowerFresh may also lock right into a standing place, whereas most different steam mops make you discover one thing to lean them in opposition to.

You ought to have the ability to clear a number of rooms with a full PowerFresh water tank, however when it’s time to refill, the method is straightforward. You seize the clear blue tank on its textured sides, elevate it up, unscrew the stopper, fill it up, put the cap again on, and slide it again into place. This sounds apparent, however some steam mops present tiny, narrow-spouted filling cups that you simply pour into the mop itself, or detachable tanks which might be heavier than they need to be. If you end up having to refill your mop midway by a job, the PowerFresh tank is the simplest to work with.

Refilling the Bissell PowerFresh will be accomplished with a sink or a glass of water, and doesn’t require a particular pitcher with a slender spout.

The PowerFresh pushes out steady steam when turned on, which we discovered way more handy than having to press a set off or pump the deal with to launch steam. Some costly steam mops supply a number of settings for various ground varieties (most of which you must keep away from anyway), or a “scrub” setting, however they’re all simply pushing out kind of steam. Other, normally cheaper, mops have just one steam stage. The PowerFresh is true within the center, providing three ranges of steam output, and one button to decide on these ranges or flip off the mop. It’s straightforward sufficient to grasp simply by taking a look at it, and it offers you a modicum of management.

The physique of the PowerFresh is among the many slimmest of the mops we examined, out-skinnied by just one Shark mannequin. It’s additionally the second lightest (4.8 kilos empty, 6 kilos full), once more bested solely by that svelte Shark. This makes the PowerFresh simpler to push round and put away. And whereas steam mops should not one thing you may fee for appears to be like or really feel, we thought the PowerFresh regarded extra trendy, however much less gadget-like, than most different mops.

At the time of this writing, there are greater than 47,000 opinions from verified purchasers on Amazon. Notable within the opinions are appetite-killing images of simply how a lot grime the PowerFresh mop was capable of choose up with its pads. The pads are additionally as straightforward to wash in a sink or washer as every other steam mop pad—it’s useful if in case you have different dirty cleansing rags to scrub on the similar time.

The connected Easy Scrubber on the PowerFresh was typically useful, however difficult to lock in place and tempting to step on.

The PowerFresh has the so-called Easy Scrubber connected to the stem of the mop, behind the pinnacle. The thought is that you simply press down along with your foot, lock the stiff-bristle scrubbing pad into place, and use that to wash deep into powerful stains or grout. It can catch among the deeper gunk previous what you simply cleaned. But we discovered ourselves wanting to carry the Easy Scrubber down with a foot to get actually deep into grout, and that was not a sensible transfer, balance-wise.

At round $90, the PowerFresh has a reasonably common worth for this fairly restricted instrument. Cheaper fashions usually tend to break and fewer handy to fill and push round. More costly mops are loaded with options that aren’t obligatory for the first job of a steam mop.

Replacing the pad on the Bissell PowerFresh will not be hands-free, and you must wait till it’s cooled off a bit.

In addition to the overall flaws of all steam mops that we’ve famous:

The comparatively small tank on the PowerFresh will have to be stuffed a few times if in case you have greater than two rooms to wash. The PowerFresh’s two cleansing pads (one common, one “robust”; alternative PowerFresh pads can be found) should not very straightforward to get on or off the mop. Lifting a bit of tab above the mop head is cumbersome, and the method can take a number of minutes whereas the mop is sizzling. Consider our improve choose for greater jobs or simpler pad alternative.

The PowerFresh’s indicators don’t blink or flip a special colour when the mop is warming as much as steaming temperature, nor when cooling down. It’s a minor factor, and also you’ll most likely know from the sounds when steam is escaping the mop head. Still, it could be higher to have visible affirmation that you simply’re not going to destroy your ground by leaving it in a single place.

While steam was flowing, we felt a slight, intermittent vibration within the deal with of the PowerFresh. It was useful indirectly to know when the mop had steam (because it lacks a warm-up/cool-down gentle), nevertheless it could possibly be annoying to some with longer cleansing jobs.

We don’t advocate Bissell’s scent discs, which offer Febreze-like odors when positioned between the cleansing pads and the mop head. (These come commonplace with the Purple Pet mannequin and are bought individually for the Blue mannequin we advocate). Both mops include a plastic ring attachment that you should use to run the PowerFresh over your carpet and “refresh” it. It didn’t do a lot to assist a piece of carpet that one pet had (ahem) made its personal.

For properties the place steam mopping is a multi-pad job, the Shark Genius Pocket Mop and its easy-switch pads could also be well worth the improve.

Upgrade choose

Shark Genius Pocket Mop System (S6002)

For greater jobs

With a straightforward approach to swap to a contemporary cleansing pad, the Shark Genius is value the additional price in the event you’re cleansing bigger areas of flooring.

Buying Options

May be out of inventory

May be out of inventory

For bigger jobs that require a number of pads, the Shark Genius Pocket Mop makes switching and changing them as straightforward as any steam mop we tried. You press a small lever along with your foot, let the folded-over Genius pad flip open onto the flooring, and shimmy the mop head out of the pad. You can then flip the pad over to make use of the again aspect or click on a contemporary pad into place, all with out touching it along with your fingers—it’s quicker, cleaner, and safer, particularly whereas the mop remains to be sizzling. That comfort will price you about $40 additional over the PowerFresh; in most different respects, the Genius Pocket Mop practically matches the PowerFresh in ease of use, weight, and adaptability.

It takes a few apply runs, however when you discover ways to swap out Genius mop pads, you are feeling like a floor-cleaning mercenary.

Beyond the easy-change mop head, the Genius Pocket Mop has a single stage of steam operation, which is okay and will get the job accomplished. The mop’s blue gentle blinks when warming up and cooling down, which is handy. If you flip the mop head backward (beneath the physique as an alternative of in entrance of it), the mop’s steam shoots out instantly onto the ground (as a so-called Steam Blaster), which could assist with actually sticky stains. The Genius Pocket Mop was not fairly as agile because the PowerFresh in bending sideways or dipping low beneath objects, nevertheless it was extra versatile than the opposite mops we examined.

If you need much more steam than the mop places out usually (which itself is quite a bit), you’ll be able to flip again the mop head and bend low for a direct blast.

The pads have longer strings and a denser pile than the PowerFresh and work on each side. They don’t appear to soak up as a lot grease and dirt because the PowerFresh’s terrycloth-like pads, however they seem to do extra scrubbing work. The Shark Genius Pocket Mop comes with two pads, every with two usable sides, and extra pads will be bought on-line.

The Reliable Steamboy Pro 300CU 3-in-1 Steam and Scrub Mop can swap between a steam pad and a really stiff scrub brush, when you press along with your foot to launch one triangular part and press the mop onto the opposite. The switching mechanism works fairly effectively, nevertheless it’s a distinct segment want, contemplating how small the terrycloth mop pad is and the way usually you’ll want to wash it for any sizable room cleansing. Small isn’t essentially a dealbreaker for everybody, however the head can also be extra restricted in flexibility than the one on the Bissell PowerFresh.

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