Best Steam Mops of 2020

A steam mop kills germs and bacteria on your floor, leaving it sparkling clean. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best steam mop for your floors.

Hot Cleaning Trend: The Steam Mop

Steam mops are one of the hottest trends in cleaning right now and for good reason. Using the disinfecting properties of steam and a bit of friction, you can make your floors sparkle within a matter of minutes.

The market offers a vast assortment of steam mop makes and models, so how do you pick the right one for you? That's where we come in. At BestReviews, we strive to help you find the perfect products to make your life easier. We analyze data, seek expert opinions, and consult owners to provide consumers with the fair, unbiased reviews they need to make wise purchases.

At the top of the page, you'll find a product matrix featuring our three favorite steam mops. If you're ready to make a purchase, we invite you to investigate these fine choices.

If you'd like to learn more about steam mops—how they work, how much they cost, and why you might choose to forgo your regular mop for a steam mop—please continue reading this shopping guide.

A steam mop can shave precious minutes off your cleaning time.

Why Buy a Steam Mop?

Part mop, part steam cleaner, a steam mop might seem like an unnecessary fad gadget at first glance. But we're here to tell you that it's not. A steam mop could revolutionize your cleaning routine. Here are some of the advantages a steam mop offers over traditional cleaning methods.

● Steam mops work on most types of bare floors, including hardwood, laminate, linoleum, and tile.
● Steam mops emit hot steam, which kills a good percentage of the germs and bacteria on your floor—some models even claim to kill 99.99 percent of bacteria.
● Steam mops are eco-friendly, as they use pure H2O instead of harsh chemicals.
● Cleaning floors with a steam mop requires less elbow grease.
● Steam mops clean much faster than traditional mops.
● Floors dry faster when cleaned with a steam mop than they do a regular mop. Parents and pet owners love this feature.
● With a steam mop, there's no risk of accidentally spilling your bucket of dirty water.
● You save money over the years by not buying floor-cleaning products.

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Hardwood Floors

You may find a steam mop particularly beneficial if your home features lots of rooms with hard flooring.

Details to Consider When Choosing a Steam Mop

Steam mops aren't all the same; they vary in terms of reservoir size, weight, controls, and more. Consider these product details before making your final purchasing decision.

Reservoir Size

All steam mops have an internal reservoir that holds water. The larger the reservoir, the longer you can steam your floors before you must refill and start again. A steam mop with a reservoir capacity of 16 ounces can run for approximately 15 minutes.

● If you have lots of bare flooring in your home, you should probably opt for a model with a large reservoir that can produce 15 minutes of steam or more.

● However, if the kitchen and bathroom are the only rooms in your home featuring tile or linoleum, you could probably get by with a smaller reservoir that supplies only about five minutes of steam.

Weight

Some steam mops weigh as little as five pounds. Others weigh more than 15 pounds. If you plan to use your steam mop on more than one level of your home, be sure to select a model you can comfortably carry up and down the stairs.

Don't forget to factor in the weight of the water in addition to the weight of the steam mop. Sixteen fluid ounces weighs about one pound.

Other Steam Mom Features to Consider

Controls

While many steam mops feature manual controls—such as a dial to switch between different steam settings—others have digital controls. One type of control isn't inherently better than the other, but digital controls are often indicative of a higher-end model. Some consumers find digital controls to be more convenient and intuitive to use, but it's really a matter of personal preference.

Heating Time

While some steam mops are ready to use instantly, most require some time for the water to heat up before you can start cleaning. Some models boast heating times of as little as 15 seconds; others take five minutes or more to reach full temperature. If one of your primary goals in purchasing a steam mop is to save time, you might appreciate a fast-heating steam mop. Heating times can usually be found in the product specs, but it's wise to check consumer reviews too. During the course of our research, we found that some steam mops take longer to heat than indicated by the manufacturer.

Steam Settings

A good steam mop offers variable steam controls, usually in the form of "low," "medium," and "high" settings. This allows you to control how deeply the machine works, whether you want to give your floors a quick once-over or eradicate some serious grime.

Many users assume the "low," "medium," and "high" settings on a steam mop are temperature settings. In actuality, these settings refer to the volume of water used by the mop.

Tips for Steam Mop Success

If you're new to the world of steam mops, these tips will have you up to speed in no time.

● Regularly wash the cleaning pad on the end of the steam mop. Most are washing-machine-safe.
● While a steam mop is safe to use on most hardwood floors, make sure the floor is sealed first. If it's not sealed, the moisture from the mop could cause the wood to warp.
● If you live in a hard-water area, limescale can form in your steam mop. Rinsing the mop after use helps avoid this buildup.
● To eradicate patches of particularly stubborn dirt, hold the steam mop over the soiled area for about 10 seconds.
● Add a teaspoon of cider vinegar to the reservoir to help break down grease and get extra shine on your floors.
● If your steam mop leaves water deposits on your floor, try a lower steam setting.

Water must reach 212°F in order to become steam, but the steam from a steam mop is generally delivered at a lower temperature—usually between 140°F and 200°F.

How Much Does a Steam Mop Cost?

Steam mops cost more than regular mops, but you can purchase a good one without breaking the bank.

● A cheap steam mop can cost as little as $30 to $40, but don't expect much from it. A steam mop in this price range is unlikely to do the job very well. It would be better to just get a regular mop if you can't increase your budget.
● Expect to pay $50 to $70 for a mid-range steam mop. These mops will be of decent quality, though they generally have fewer bells and whistles than more expensive models. For example, at the lower end of this price range, you're unlikely to find a steam mop with variable steam settings.
● The best steam mops generally cost between $80 and $125. These are top-notch units with large reservoir capacities, and they're quite dependable.

The steam emitted from a steam mop is hot enough to scald flesh, so keep kids and pets out of the way while you use it.

Steam Mop FAQ

Q. Will a steam mop sanitize my floor as well as clean it?
A. A steam mop won't truly sterilize your floor; that requires exposure to a temperature of 250°F or more for at least 15 minutes. But the steam will remove a good amount of germs and bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella. While we don't recommend eating your dinner off your freshly steamed floors, they will be clean enough.

Q. Are steam mops safe to use?
A. Yes, steam mops are safe to use. That said, you should exercise common sense and caution when using a steam mop. Some models emit steam at temperatures up to 200°F, which could give you a nasty burn. Stay away from the "business end" of a steam mop while it's in use.

Q. Do I need to sweep or vacuum my floor before steaming it?
A. Your floor needs to be relatively free of loose dirt and debris before you start steaming. Otherwise, the cleaning pad will soon become soiled, and the mop will just push dirt around the room. Do a quick pass with a broom or vacuum cleaner before you start steaming.

Some steam mops can also sweep or pick up dry debris, though they cannot perform both tasks at once. If you already own a vacuum cleaner or a broom, a steam mop with vacuuming properties probably isn't essential. However, some people find this type of dual-capacity steam mop more convenient.

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