7 Best Steam Floor Cleaners Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

You might expect a steam mop to be more convenient than an ordinary squeeze mop, with no squeegee to squeeze and no pail of water to deal with. You might also expect the steam to loosen dried food spills effectively, and perhaps even sanitize floors and other surfaces. But not all of these expectations matched the reality when we last tested these products.

Top 7 Steam Floor Cleaners

Bestseller No. 1
Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop, Steamer, Tile, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1806, Sapphire
934 Reviews
Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop, Steamer, Tile, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1806, Sapphire
  • Sanitize your hard floors to eliminate 99.9Percent of germs and bacteria without the use...
  • Power fresh deluxe steam mop has an On-Board spot boost brush to remove tough, sticky...
SaleBestseller No. 2
BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940
11336 Reviews
BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940
  • Clean and sanitize* sealed hard floors without the use of harsh chemicals. Eliminates 99....
  • Power through tough, sticky messes with the flip-down easy scrubber
SaleBestseller No. 3
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501)
3742 Reviews
Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner with Swivel Steering XL Water Tank (S3501)
  • The Shark Steam Pocket Mop turns ordinary water into super-heated steam to remove everyday...
  • Powerful steam on demand - natural mopping motion delivers super-heated steam in just 30...
SaleBestseller No. 4
Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteam
1021 Reviews
Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteam
  • CLEANS LITERALLY EVERYTHING! Nobody likes cleaning! But with the help of the ThermaPro...
  • CHILD & PET SAFE - PROVIDES 99.99% SANITATION WITH NO HARSH CHEMICALS! Super-heated steam...
SaleBestseller No. 5
Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood and Tile Floors, with Microfiber Mop Pads, 1543A
1114 Reviews
Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood and Tile Floors, with Microfiber Mop Pads, 1543A
  • Buy Bissell, Save Pets. Up To 10 Dollars Donated To The Bissell Pet Foundation For Every...
  • Vacuum And Steam Your Floors At The Same Time
SaleBestseller No. 6
Bissell PowerFresh Slim Hard Wood Floor Steam Cleaner System, Steam Mop, Handheld Steamer and Scrubbing Tools, and Clothing Steamer Tool, 2075A
155 Reviews
Bissell PowerFresh Slim Hard Wood Floor Steam Cleaner System, Steam Mop, Handheld Steamer and Scrubbing Tools, and Clothing Steamer Tool, 2075A
  • 3 in 1 steam mop allows you to clean both on and above your floors with a fully upright...
  • On board tool kit allows you to carry tools while you clean - grout tool, angle tool, flat...
Bestseller No. 7
McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner with 18 Accessories – All-Natural, Chemical-Free Pressurized Steam Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and More
3537 Reviews
McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner with 18 Accessories – All-Natural, Chemical-Free Pressurized Steam Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and More
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - Backed by a 2-year hassle-free warranty and supported by a...
  • CHEMICAL-FREE CLEANING - Naturally deep clean and sanitize without the use of harsh...

Steam Floor Cleaners in CR’s Labs

How We Tested
In our series of cleaning tests, we apply a measured amount of each of ketchup, mustard, and jam to the surface of a ceramic tile. After the food dries, we photograph the soiled tile and then placed it on a floor among similar clean tiles. We then take several passes at the floor with a steam mop, focusing on the soiled tile while controlling the speed and back and forth strokes of the mop. After cleaning the floor and letting it air dry, we take another photo of the soiled tile to identify how much soil was removed and how much remains. Mustard is the most difficult to clean and ketchup the easiest.

A Low-Tech Alternative
We repeat our tests with an ordinary squeeze mop, using only hot tap water. The low-tech squeeze mop cleaned our floors better than a steam mop when we refreshed the sponge in hot water as needed.

How to Choose A Steam Mop

Not sure if a steam mop is a right appliance for your kitchen or bathroom? Though they aren’t recommended for every floor type, a steam mop might be just the ticket for pet-owners who are frequently wiping up muddy paw prints or other spills on ceramic floors.

Killing Germs
On the cartons of all of the steam mops we tested are claims that the mops sanitize floors and other surfaces under controlled test settings but that results may vary in your own home. Those claims may be true to some extent because most of the models are capable of producing steam above 175°F, which is hotter than you can get using tap water.

Safe for Floors?
Manufacturers indicate that their steam mops can be used on various hard floors, including laminate, tile, and sealed wood. But all of the models we tested left some residual moisture. A wood floor that appears sealed might have crevices where water can seep in and cause damage. Also, some wood finishes or older waxes might haze over. If your flooring is still under warranty, check with the manufacturer to make sure using a steam mop won’t void it.

Cleaning Up
The removable pad at the bottom of each steam mop can hold only so much grime before it just pushes the excess debris along. Before removing a dirty mop head, place the unit on a horizontal surface such as a countertop or floor to prevent any water from the tank from dripping out. If you must raise the mop head above the height of the tank, you should empty the water tank first.

Some manufacturers suggest cleaning the pad in a washing machine, but we wouldn’t want to toss a grungy pad in the same load with the bed linens or kids’ school clothes. Running an entire washing-machine cycle just for one or two pads seems wasteful.

Steam Floor Cleaners Features

Steam Control: This feature, found in most models we tested, lets you control the amount of steam delivered.

Empty Light Indicator: A light in some steam mops warns you when it’s time to refill the reservoir.

Swivel Head: In some steam mops, this feature may ease maneuvering in tight spaces.

Detachable Steam Generator:
 Two models let you detach the working end from the base so you can use it as a handheld steamer.

Power Cord: Cord lengths on the models we last tested range from 16 to 30 feet. A short cord may limit you to a small clean up job in a small room. And an extension cord may be unsafe with these high-wattage appliances.

Additional Cleaning Accessories: Some models come with extra tools for cleaning grout and other surfaces.

How we pick the best steam cleaners

We test all steam cleaners under the same conditions. The key to any product like this is the quality of the cleaning, so we test each steamer on a variety of surfaces. Depending on the attachments provided, and the steam cleaner’s purpose, we look at cleaning performance on carpets, hard floors, windows and kitchens or bathrooms.

Outside of the cleaning quality, how easy a steam cleaner is to use is the next most important aspect. All of our reviews thoroughly test the cleaners for usability, including how simple they are to refill, what it was like to use them in a variety of situations, and how easy it was to change attachments. We also look at home long each cleaner can last on a tank-full of water, giving an idea of the area that can be cleaned in one go.

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