Best Steam Mop – Top 5 Steamiest Review for Feb. 2017
Homeowners (or renters) who don’t spend much time cleaning may never have heard of steam mops. All it takes to become a convert, though, is to spend a few moments thinking about the smelly, dirty mess that a conventional mop becomes after just one or two uses – or thinking about the way your back and hands feel after repeatedly bending over a pail and dealing with harsh soaps, bleaches or other cleaning solutions.
The Benefits of a Steam Mop vs. a Traditional Mop
Steam mops simplify the cleaning process immensely, using the heat from generated steam to clean and disinfect floors. The task of mopping becomes no more arduous than vacuuming, floors are cleaner, and the steam is able to kill nearly 100% of the dust mites and bacteria that are just pushed around by a regular mop. Unless there is tons of caked-on gunk on your floor (which would probably require hand-scrubbing anyway) cleaning with a steam mop is faster, more efficient and convenient, and easier on your body, and it leaves floors cleaner and the home environment healthier.
What Factors to Consider When Buying a Steam Mop?
Steam mops vary in their performance based on their construction. Some have multiple jets of steam to moisten the cleaning pad which does the work, some have two-sided pads or separate pads to handle wood, more resilient flooring or carpet, some can do double-duty as a vacuum, some have an extra tank for a cleaning solution that will attack stubborn floor stains, and some allow you to control the amount of steam sent to the pad.
There are other features which can make your life easier when using a steam mop. Large water tanks (the water is used to produce steam) which are easy to remove and refill are a definite plus, as are long power cords so you don’t have to keep unplugging every time you move around the house. Needless to say, a light machine is always a plus.
The Groom+Style review team looked at all of these variables while coming up with our best steam mop top 5 rankings, and naturally, we’ve also factored in the price you’ll have to pay; there’s no reason the manufacturers should be the only ones cleaning up.
Here’s our report to help you get cleaned up…
1. Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop
Despite the “1940” label, this Bissell steam mop cleans like it’s the 2010s and not the middle of the last century. It’s light, easy to use, and does a great job on most types of flooring without leaving a dirty film the way a regular mop does when you’re done. It’s a “basic” model without some of the bells and whistles that some more expensive steam mops offer, but those extras aren’t necessary for most homes – and the “basic” price for the Bissell 1940 is easy to handle.
This mop heats up relatively quickly and immediately goes into standby mode, so you’re ready to go in three or four minutes. The easily-removable water tank holds about two cups of distilled or demineralized water, which is enough to run for an hour on the low steam setting or around 15 minutes going full blast. There’s also a “medium” setting you can choose; you choose the settings by depressing one of three lighted buttons on the handle. One of the only drawbacks of the Powerfresh is the fact that there’s no easy-to-find pause button for taking a rest or refilling the tank, but if you hold down the top steam button until the lights go off, you’ll be in standby mode with no steam being produced.
The microfiber pads on the Bissell (it comes with two of them) do a nice job on normal dirt, and there’s a flip-down “easy scrubber” which is meant to handle sticky stuff or dried-on messes. When the pads are full of dirt and gunk, you just toss them in the washing machine and air dry them; a good idea for this or any other steam mop is to buy an extra set of pads, so you always have enough on hand to finish a cleaning job. There’s also a small brush on the back of the unit that can be used on grout. The company claims that the unit will kill 99.9% of bacteria and germs (oh, that pesky 0.1%!), which makes sense because the steam is extremely hot as it contacts the floor. The Powerfresh can also deodorize your floor if you choose to use the included Febreze fragrance discs.
The mop head is sufficiently large to clean large swaths of floor and the power cord is 23 feet long, so you’ll find that cleaning the floor is a much quicker job than you’re probably accustomed to. And your gleaming floors will make you wonder why you used a hand mop for so long.
Facts and figures for the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop:
2. Hoover TwinTank Steam Mop WH20200
This very good steam mop has some definite advantages, and one very big negative. It’s reasonably priced, it’s lightweight, it has two separate tanks so you can switch between pure steam cleaning and more traditional detergent/disinfectant cleaning, and its triangular-shaped head makes it easy to get into corners and crevices. What could be a drawback to make you think twice about a machine like that? The steam only comes out when you have the trigger on the handle depressed – and your finger (or arm) can get very tired, very quickly while using this Hoover. The Groom+Style review team are not sure that’s a deal-killer, but it could be for some readers.
The TwinTank tanks are filled separately, one with water and one with cleaning solution; Hoover recommends using their non-toxic, biodegradable SteamPlus solution, but there’s no reason (other than voiding the warranty) that you couldn’t use something else instead. There’s a “solution control dial” on the machine, allowing you to choose all steam, all cleaning solution, or any mix of the two you choose. The idea is that when you hit a stain or spill that the steam can’t handle on its own, the solution will add cleaning power. If you have a home with pets or small kids who are always spilling sticky stuff, the extra oomph could be worth it, but remember that when you use the solution you’re losing some of the disinfectant power of pure steam.
Warm-up time is very fast on the Hoover (less than a minute), there’s a handy docking tray where you can put the mop when not being used, it can be used on any type of flooring and there’s a “carpet glide” feature allowing you to disinfect rugs.
In short, there’s not much to dislike about the TwinTank – except for the sore hands you’ll have while putting it away. Our fingers were so sore that we couldn’t write this review when it was time to write about our #1 steam mop, so the Hoover ended up at #2. (Just kidding, but you get the point.)
Looking closer at the Hoover TwinTank Steam Mop WH20200:
3. Gruene Clean System Steam Mop & Hand Held Steamer
The review team have the same major issue with this Gruene model as we have with the Hoover: you have to keep your finger on the trigger in order to produce steam. However, the Clean System has one key feature which argued for its inclusion in the best steam mop top 5 list – it’s also a hand-held steamer that can clean everything from windows to golf clubs.
The mop itself is pretty standard. You fill the too-small (nine ounce) tank with water, let the unit heat up, and the steam does a good job removing most stains and gunk from almost any type of flooring. There is no way to adjust the flow of steam, the head doesn’t swivel like the ones on our first two ranked products and the power cord is shorter, so you don’t have as much control of the steaming process as we’d like. Open stretches of floor, though, end up just about as clean as with the other best steam mops on our list. One definite plus is the Gruene’s ability to use towels, terrycloth or almost anything else in place of the standard cleaning pads, saving lots of money on refills.
But what makes all the difference in the Clean System is that you can detach the guts of the cleaner to be worn on your shoulder with a strap, to be used as a hand-held model with a two-foot hose. There are also seven attachments to make it simple to steam just about anything: three different sizes of round brushes (two nylon, one brass), a window washer with squeegee attachment, an angle nozzle for nooks and cracks, a scoop nozzle for baked-on gunk, and a jet nozzle for grout. There’s a tool caddy to carry all the tools on the mop but it falls off pretty easily.
Groom+Style wouldn’t call the Gruene our steam mop of choice. But if we needed a decent steam mop and really needed a hand-held steamer as well, this is what we’d buy. It’s also good value.
The details on the Gruene Clean System Steam Mop & Hand Held Steamer:
4. Shark Light And Easy Steam Mop
The Groom+Style review team close our rankings with two models which won’t break the bank, but still will do the job well if you don’t do a lot of heavy-duty cleaning on a regular basis. This Shark steam mop costs just $50, weighs around four pounds, and leaves floors clean and disinfected after use. What more could you ask for in a budget unit?
The Light and Easy heats up in less than five minutes, you pump the handle and then the machine emits steam only when you push it along the floor, and it holds enough water for about 15 minutes of cleaning. It has a swivel head and long power cord for convenience, and it works on just about all types of flooring.
There are no adjustments, no extras, no complications – think of it as being the Electric Broom of steam mops, and you’ll have the picture. It’s nice to have in the closet to pull out when needed.
Specifications for the Shark Light And Easy Steam Mop:
5. Sienna Vibe Steam Mop
Groom+Style would normally have ranked the Sienna Vibe above the Shark because it produces constant steam without having to pull a trigger, and cleans just as well. The reason the review team moved it down to the bottom of our best steam mop top 5 list is that it tends to clog, sometimes. It’s not difficult to take care of the problem; you just have to take off the unit’s head and stick a pin into the hole where the steam vents. It’s a nuisance, however, and an unfortunate flaw in a very strong steam mop.
Otherwise, it heats up fast, does a solid job of cleaning and disinfecting, comes with a carpet glider kit to make it easy to disinfect rugs and has a swivel head.
The Sienna Vibe has everything we’d want in an inexpensive model. It’s just too bad that you need to keep a screwdriver and pin handy to use it regularly, because we’d love to recommend the Sienna even more strongly.
A deeper dive on the Sienna Vibe Steam Mop:
Now that you have the cleaning under control you’ll have more time to spend on all those cool hobbies you love!