The best steam mop of 2020
Cleaning hardwood, laminate, or tile floors can be a drag, especially if you lack the right tools. For an effortless way to keep floors spotless, consider buying a steam mop.
Steam mops offer a chemical-free deep cleaning with the press of a button. Many models come with several attachments or mop heads to make cleaning corners or tight spaces as easy as possible.
To get you up to speed on this year's trends in steam mops, we've taken a closer look at popular and new models on the market. Our buying guide includes two old favorites, plus a capable new arrival with 10 steam functions.
Best steam mops of 2020
1. Shark's Genius Steam Pocket Mop System: This powerful, easy-to-operate model tops our short list for another year in a row.
2. Bissell's PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop: We're happy to include this budget-priced Bissell model for the second year running.
3. PurSteam's 10-in-1 Steam Mop: Given its lightweight design and diverse functions, we're excited to add this model to this year's short list.
For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.
What you need to know before buying a steam mop
Unlike regular mops, steam mops don't require cleaning products to be effective. This is a major selling point, particularly for consumers seeking a chemical-free way to keep floors clean. They're popular for homes with kids and pets.
Steam mops rely on a tank with an internal heating function to bring water to nearly 180°F. At this temperature, steam is hot enough to dislodge superficial gunk, stains, and residue. Floors are left shiny, spotless, and sanitized.
Steam mops are equipped with a wide variety of features, and sometimes attachments or mop heads. Weight and size should be considered when purchasing steam mops. Most models are fairly lightweight, and even when their tanks are filled, they rarely surpass 15 pounds. As far as size goes, many steam mops are compact for easy storage. Others may be somewhat bulky, especially models that offer multifunctional cleaning or have several attachments.
The water tank, also referred to as the reservoir, plays a major role in determining the steam mop's cleaning time. Larger tanks mean you'll be afforded a longer cleaning time, closer to 25 minutes; however, that's not always the case if the highest heat settings are used. Choose a steam mop with a removable water tank for easy filling and emptying.
One feature that varies considerably among steam mops is the design of the mop head. Rectangular heads are suitable for covering large areas, while triangular ones are better for corners and hard-to-reach spaces. Some steam mops have swivel heads that rotate up to 180 degrees for maximum maneuverability.
Steam mops cost between $60 and $200. Those with basic functionality tend to cost below $75, while models with a couple attachments or a few settings are closer to $100. The most expensive steam mops have a deluxe assortment of attachments and capabilities and push the $200 mark.
Q. How long does it take for a steam mop to heat water?
A. Quick-start steam mops heat up in as little to 30 seconds to a minute. Steam mops without this feature often take several minutes to reach optimal temperature. Many steam mops are equipped with indicators or thermometers, but they aren't standard features.
Q. Do steam mops have reusable mop pads?
A. Today, most steam mops have reusable mop pads that are machine-washable for your convenience. Even so, mop pads have shelf lives and only last through so many washes before they become too thin to be effective.
In-depth reviews for best steam mops
Best of the best: Shark's Genius Steam Pocket Mop System
What we like: Earns high marks for its no-touch washable pad removal. Direct steam channeling design is effective at targeting deep-set stains. Easy to maneuver.
What we dislike: Expensive, plus the fixed tank design can be challenging to fill and empty.
Best bang for your buck: Bissell's PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop
What we like: Heats up more quickly than most steam mops. Tank is easy to fill. Flip-down scrubber dislodges sticky or greasy residue. Swivel head makes for easy steering.
What we dislike: Some reports that it leaves streaks on floors with high-gloss finishes.
Choice 3: PurSteam's 10-in-1 Steam Mop
What we like: Large tank allows for 25 minutes of continuous cleaning. Comes with a grout-cleaning tool that consumers love. Backed by a two-year warranty.
What we dislike: Design could be improved to better accommodate the advertised capability of window cleaning.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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