On this website, I have written three in depth guides on the best buys in the following categories.
Rather than just review many individual steam mops I have tried to find the best in each category for you.
In each category, I have selected a best buy and one budget buy.
Best Buys these are not high prices mop with unnecessary features. But mops which have sufficient features, at a reasonable price to complete your cleaning effectively.
The budget mops often have only essential features but are still able to do the cleaning effectively,
To complete these guides I have spent many hours researching, studying customer reviews, reading manufacturer specifications and talking to experts.
In addition to the above guides, I have compiled many steam mop reviews and steam cleaner reviews. To help you find the best steam mop and best steam cleaner for your needs. To start with I have listed what I consider to be the best steam mops and best steam cleaners in each category.
My Best Steam Mop and Cleaners
Below I have listed what I think are the best steam mops and cleaners in each category.
Best Combined Steam Mop and Steam Cleaner
In this category I would recommend the Vax S86-SF-C Steam Fresh Combi 15-in-1 Steam Cleaner. This steam mop can operate as both a upright and easily converts to a handheld cleaner. It has a very quick heat up time of 30 seconds and at least 12 minutes running time. This combined with it excellent performance makes it my top recommendation in this category.
Best Steam Mop
Here the easily overall winner is the Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner. This mop combines the power of steam together to breakdown grease and grime even faster. The mop is both lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.
Best Handheld Steam Cleaner
Here I choose the Vax S4 Grime Master Steam Cleaner. There is not a huge range of handheld steam cleaners on the market. But this one does a good job and is very reasonably priced.
Comparing different Steam Mops and Cleaners
So you can quickly see the best steam mops and cleaners in different categories I have completed comparison tables for the best floor and handheld steam cleaners, steam mops and handheld steam cleaners. From these top steam mops there are links so you can navigable to a full reviews of each of the cleaners. On the right hand side under recent reviews is a complete list of all the steam mop reviews I have written. These reviews include by overall ratings of the steam cleaners I have reviewed.
|Product Image||Model||Water Tank Capacity (mls)||Steam Time (mins)||Heat-up Time (secs)||Cord length (m)||Overall Rating (1 to 10)|
|Vax S86-SF-C||Water tank 260 ml|
Detergent tank 200 ml
|12||30||8||(9.0 / 10)|
|Vax S86-SF-CC||260||15||20||7||(8.6 / 10)|
|Morphy Richards 9 in 1||400||14||30||5||(8.2 / 10)|
|Vax S7||400||12||20||7||(9.0 / 10)|
|Dirt Devil 11 in 1||330||15||30||5||(8.0 / 10)|
|Vax S86-SF-P||800||25||15||9||(9.0 / 10)|
|Morphy Richards 720515||270||10||30||5||(9.0 / 10)|
|Vax S2S-1 hard Floor Pro||500||10||60||8||(8.8 / 10)|
|Vax S88-W1M-B||280||10||30||6||(8.4 / 10)|
|Russell Hobbs RHDSM2001||600||15||15||8||(7.8 / 10)|
Steam Mop Reviews
These reviews can be found in the Directory of Steam Mops which has reviews on all the popular steam mops and cleaners.
Steam Cleaner Reviews
These reviews can be found in the Directory of Steam Cleaners which has reviews on all the popular steam mops and cleaners.
Different Types of Steam Mops and Cleaners
There are three types of steam cleaners – steam mops, handheld steam cleaners and cylinder steam cleaners
Handheld Steam Mops
These are the cheapest with prices ranging from £20 to £100
These are the cheapest with prices ranging from £30 to £100
Cylinder Steam Cleaner
These are the cheapest with prices ranging from £70 to £400
What do the different types of steam cleaner do
The Steam mops are designed for steaming hardwood floors they are able to lift the dirt more effectively than just using a mop and bucket. In addition because of the high temperature of the steam they are able to kill bacteria.
There are two kinds of steam mop, those with one-sided cleaning and those that are two-sided – you can just flip the mop head over and clean with the other side of the cloth
Handheld steam cleaners are most useful at cleaning small surface areas
Cylinder steam cleaners, come with a wide range of attachments and are suitable for both cleaning floors and other surfaces. They can perform the functions of both a steam mop and a handheld steam cleaner.
Benefits of Steam Mops
Safe to use – Because they use only water as steam to clean your floors, they are safe for the environment, pets, and your family. You remove the need and save money by not using cleaning products
More Effective Than a Traditional Mop – Cleans more effectively than a traditional mop and bucket. As well as cleaning your floor the steam mop will sterilise your floor by killing bacteria, dust mites, and other allergens.
Energy Efficient – Very energy efficient costing as low as 1 pence per session worth of electricity in some models
Good for the Environment – No need to use cleaning products all of which are harmful to the environment.
Safe for All Cleaning Surfaces – You need to always check manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning hardwood floors and laminate flooring. But generally steam cleaner are safe to use on hardwood floors as unlike traditional mops they do not use may leave excess water on the floor that will warp the floors and possibly ruin them.
Save Space – With steam mops you only need enough space to store the steam mop. Rather than having to store a mop and mop bucket
Easy to Use – The steam mops are generally light weight in construction and so are much easier to use than a mop and bucket. This s particularly useful if you older or have a disability
Killing germs – The steam mops are able to sterilise and sanitizer floors and other surfaces. This is because the steam created is hotter than 200° F. With an ordinary mop the hot water will only be about 100° F.
What you need to Consider When Purchasing a Steam Mop or Cleaner
First decide what you want from a steam mop, do you want a 2 in 1 mop which is a steam mop and a handheld cleaner. Alternatively do you want only a steam mop or handheld steamer. Finally do you want to buy a Cylinder steam cleaner.
You then need to consider several factors.
Weight – Some steam mops have large water tanks. This can make them heavy to use especially when the tank is full up. But a large tank also means that you have to stop and refill it less frequently particularly on larger
Type of Mop Head – Some steam mops have a swivelling mop head which makes it much easier to clean around furniture. Also how the mop cloth is attached and what it is made of.
Attachments – What attachments do you want with your steam mop. There are a variety of attachments that can be used not for just cleaning floor such as window cleaning. also some brands of steam mop can be converted into a hand held steamer
Indicator Lights – Check to see if the model has indicator lights to confirm when the water has reached the correct temperature, most of them do. Also check to see if there is an indicator light to check when the water has nearly run out, most of them do not. Some steamers have adjustable settings according to how much steam is required
Frequency of Use – How often do you intend to use the mop if you intend to use the mop frequently a more heavy duty mop is best. But if you intend to use the mop infrequently a cheaper model is all you need.
Consider a Multi-tasked – Before using a steam cleaner you need to sweep the floor clean of debris. Some steamer have a dual function and will sweep an then steam clean
Long Cord – A long cord means that you are able to clean more without having to unplug and plug back in or use an extension
Flexible Cleaners – Some models are able to lay flat to allow you to use under furniture.
Mop Stand – This is useful to allow the steam mop to heat and cool down without damaging your floor.
Stand-Up Mop – Look for a mop that stands up on its own so it does not tip over on its own.
Steam Mops versus Mop and Bucket
Traditional mop cleaning uses hot water, detergent and a bucket. Originally you would buy a bucket with a section in it which enables you to wring out the mop.
More recently you are able to get many different versions of cleaning mops. These include flat and sponge type mops. These have their own system to squeeze out the mop. Which means they are quicker to use, so saving washing and drying time. Ordinary mops are cheaper than steam mops but do not forget you will need a bucket scrubbing brushes, detergents and other cleaners.
Reasons to continue using Floor Mops
Customers give several reasons for continuing to use the traditional mop or spray mop. The first is the type of flooring they have is not suitable and the second is that steam mopping is more expensive. There are some floor types such as Pergo floors where the manufacturer does not recommend steam mop cleaning. As for expense once you have brought the steam mop they are cheaper to use as you only use water no need for the expense of detergents and cleaners.
Advantages of Steam Mops
Steam mop cleaning has developed as it is quicker and because customers have less time to spend on household chores.
Steam mopping is easier and takes less effort than traditional mopping of floors. The steam mop gets the job done faster than using a mop and bucket. With the steam mop there is a continuous cleaning process. There is no continued wringing out of the mop.
It takes a lot less effort cleaning the floor with a steam mop. It is like pushing a light vacuum around your floor. There is no need to insert pressure in the steam cleaner or try to scrub the floor with it. Unlike your regular mop where you have to insert continued pressure using both hands for the mop to remove dirt and stains. It is also more work to wring out the mop continuously. You can not sanitize the floors with a standard mop unless you use detergents or chemicals.
Steam has the advantage over ordinary cleaning with the mop is that as steam reaches higher temperatures than hot or boiling water it can kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria and germs. Steam cleaning is more eco friendly as you are using steam only and not harmful chemicals and detergents. It is also cheaper as you are no longer having to pay for detergent and other cleaning materials. In addition there is no harmful residue from chemicals left on the floor, especially where there are children or pets living in the household.
The drying time for floors is quicker with steam mops than with ordinary mopping. You only need the steam mop to clean with. There is no need for several items including mop,bucket and cleaning materials. You can use some steam mop for other purposes. Such as refreshing your carpets. If they are a multi-purpose cleaner it can be used to clean many more surfaces. With a steam mop there is no need to scrub stains and dirt to remove them.
Finally Steam Mops or Mop and Bucket
Can steam mops replace the traditional mop and bucket approach to cleaning floors. The answer as you can see from the information on this website is yes they can. They are capable of removing most stains from tiles and vinyl floor covering. Because of the high temperatures steam is capable of achieving it can kill germs and bacteria. Although to effectively sanitise the floors you need to hover the steam mop over the floor for up to 15 seconds depending on the manufacturers instructions. The traditional mop and bucket is incapable of doing reaching these temperatures.
I think that the advantages of steam mop cleaning outweigh that of using an ordinary mop. But if you like you can retain the traditional mop and use that when necessary.
In some ways it may be best to retain a regular mop as well as investing in a steam mop. If you have a quick messy spill to clean up it is easier to get the mop and bucket out rather than using steam mops.
Carpet Cleaning with a Steam Mop
You probably know that you can use a steam mop to clean hard surfaces like tiles and vinyl floor surfaces. Did you know that you could use a steam mop to clean and refresh your carpets? The power of high temperature steam can loosen the toughest to remove ground in dirt.
There are several advantages to using steam mops as opposed to conventional carpet cleaners to clean your carpet.
- Cleaning with steam, you do not have to use the cleaning solutions and chemicals used with carpet cleaners. This is useful if you have children and pets playing on the carpet.
- Steam mops are light and easy to carry. Carpet cleaners are heavy and take time to set up.
- Cleaning with steam can sanitize your carpets. It can kill off most bacteria and prevent the growth of moulds. It will also kill off any dust mites in the carpet.
- They are particularly useful to clean stair carpets, as they are light to use. Use an extension cord if necessary to reach the full length of the stairs.
- Because the steam mop uses steam to clean it does not leave the carpet as wet as carpet cleaners do.
- They cannot deep clean like a carpet cleaner. However, the steam mop can be particularly useful to clean your carpet spills and stains. This means that you will not have to use your carpet cleaner so frequently.
Make sure you regularly vacuum your carpet to prevent dust and dirt building accumulating. It is always best to clean stains and spills as soon after they have occurred. The steam mop is also useful to use to clean spills of food and stains.
To remove any mud and dirt from the carpet do the following instructions. First, just lightly brush the carpet with a stiff bristle brush. Then vacuum up any loose dirt. You can then either use the steam mop directly or first dampen the stain using cloth and soap solution. Do not use bleach or strong soap solution on your carpet as this can damage or fade the carpet fibres. When you have finished with the steam mop, the steam will have left loose dirt. Vacuum this up with a vacuum cleaner. Because the steam mop uses water, the carpets may be a little damp. It is best to leave the carpet for a couple of hours to allow it to fully dry.
Most steam mops come with a special attachment called a carpet glider, which you can use to clean your carpet. The mop base slots on top of the guider and to clean the carpet you just glide it over the carpet. The steam mop does not come in to direct contact with the carpet so preventing damage to the carpet fibres from the steam.
You can use most steam mops to clean your carpets. One steam mop I would recommend is the Vax S7 Steam Mop.
Using Steam Mops to get rid of Lime Scale
Lime scale creates by an accumulation of calcium carbonate. It is a hard whiter chalky substance, which can be removed by abrasive action and scrubbing. However, removing the lime scale in this way can damage the surface. It can accumulate, on taps, showerheads, shower screens and tiles.
It is easy to remove by the use of mild acids. Once you have performed the following, actions to remove most of the lime scale you can use your steam mop to complete the task.
You can either use a solution of vinegar and water in equal proportions, then spray this on the surfaces, which have lime scale. Alternatively make a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice. Then paste on to the surfaces, which require treatment. Usually leave the solution once applied for an hour or so.
To clean taps first need to soak them in either vinegar or make up paste of baking soda and lemon juice. Then apply either to your taps. You can leave this overnight if necessary by soaking the kitchen roll first and wrapping this around the taps. Then enclose them in a plastic bag. The acidity of the lemon juice or vinegar will react with the lime scale. The steam mop can wash off removing most of the lime scale the remainder in the morning.
To clean showerheads just remove them and soak overnight in vinegar or lemon juice. In the morning just clean, them off using a steam mop.
To clean your bathroom tiles or shower screen. Just apply a solution of vinegar or use the baking soda paste and leave for one hour. Afterward wipe away the vinegar solution or baking soda paste.
You will need a steam mop with attachments to complete this task, or a hand held steam cleaner. Then use your steam mop on the scrub setting to clean the surfaces. Either it is best to use a hand steam cleaner or the hand held attachment, which comes with multi-functional, steam mops. Use the detail nozzle to create a blast of high-pressure steam.
Using the steam mop slowly clean a section at a time. Your tiles or screen will come up looking like new. Finally wipe over with a clean cloth. If there is a grouting tool with your steam mop, use this to clean the grouting between the tiles.
Cleaning your Steam Mop
Always make sure that you clean your steam mop after using it. This will increase its efficiency when you use it and extend its lifespan.
First of all always read the instructions on how to clean your steam mop which come with the steam mop. The following is only general guidance intended to supplement that provided by the manufacturer.
Unplug and let the steam mop cool down
The first thing you need to do before attempting to clean the steam mop is to make sure you have unplugged it from the mains. Then you must make sure you allow the machine to completely cool down before you attempt to clean it.
Empty the Water Tank
Always empty the water tank after using it. If you leave water in the tank this can encourage mould or erosion of the tank.
Washing the Cleaning Pads after use
Most steam cleaners now come with washable cleaning pads. This is more economical than just using the pads once and then throwing them away. Once the pads have been used they can just be thrown into the washing machine, after the cycle has finished they can be removed and left to dry. You can wash using ordinary detergent and normal cycle Leave them flat to dry and do not spin dry.
If the pad is very dirty you can first wash or soak It in the sink. Always make sure the cleaning pads are dry before you reuse them this will prevent them going mouldy. Do not bleach the cleaning pads as this will weaken the fibres.
Cleaning the Steam Mop and Water Tank
The water reservoir can usually be detached fro Use a damp soft cloth and warm water to clean the inside and outside of the tank. Also use a damp cloth to clean the outside surfaces of the steam mop. You can finish off by drying with a dry cloth. Afterwards just throw the cloth in the washing machine.
How not to use your new Steam Mops
Below I have listed some cautionary information on using steam mops and cleaners. This is a mixture of safety advice and how not to use your steam mop. Quite a lot of people complain that their steam mop has broken, sometimes this is a manufacturers fault. Other times it is because the customer is not using the steam mop correctly. Steam mop do need a little care when using them.
Do not plug into the mains until you are ready
Always remember to plug in the steam mop last of all. Make sure that the the electric cord is fully unwound before use. Only when you are ready to use the steam mop switch the power on. First make sure you fill the water reservoir. If the water reservoir needs refilling when in use make sure you unplug it first. Remember the steam mop head will heat up quickly and it will be too hot to handle once the electricity is switched on. So make sure the pad or cloth is first well attached to the mop head. Also if you hand the wet steam mops head when you are using electricity there is a possible risk of electric shock. Some steam mops have an indicator light which tells you when it is ready for use.
Do not leave your steam mop steaming in one spot
If you have to stop in the middle of steam mop cleaning your floors. Always make sure that you switch off the steam mop. In addition remove the mop head from contact with the floor. Some steam mops come with a tray to stand the mop in. Also when you first switch on the steam mop be careful as the steam can heat up fast, within seconds, damaging which ever floor surface you are about to clean. Always unplug the steamer if you are moving from room to room and are needing to prepare the floor first.
A steam mop is not a vacuum
Do not use your steam mop in the same way as you use a vacuum. Steam mops are not designed to remove dust and debris from the floor. They are designed to clean and sanitize your floors. You do need to prepare the floor before using them. Always vacuum your floor first before steam cleaning. Alternatively you can just sweep your floor if you prefer. But hoovering is better as the suction it will get up dust and debris. If you don’t remove the the debris can block your steam mop. It will also not steam clean your floors properly as it will just drag the dirt across the floor.
If you don’t want to be bothered to vacuum up before you steam. There like there are a couple of steam mops which also operate as a sweeper as well. These work reasonably well but not as good as using a separate vacuum and steamer.
Steam mops are not to be used on unsealed surfaces, only use them on sealed floors
Always follow the manufacturers instructions as to how to steam clean the surfaces you are using it on. Customers have complained that steam mops have caused damage to certain surfaces. Do not use your mop on unsealed floors. Using hot steam on an unsealed floor can lead to swelling and damage to the floor. This is especially true of unsealed wooden floors and laminates. But steam mops work well with sealed surfaces including woods, laminates, vinyl, vinyl tiles and ceramic tiles.
Some customers refuse to use steam on any hardwood floor regardless if it is sealed or not. Other users use steam on hardwood and get great results. Whether a steam mop is suitable to use steam on hardwood floors depends on a number of factors. This includes wood type, age of floor and condition of the floor. If you have a sealed hardwood floor in good condition it is great to use steam mops. Problems arise when a floor has lost its finish due to wear and tear and the floor is damaged and exposed. As the steam mop creates moisture this can mean the wood swells up and warps.
In addition do not use a steam mop on newly waxed floors. The heat from the steam can melt the wax and leave your previously shiny looking floor dull. It is always best to try out your steam mop on a small bit of floor first if you are in doubt.
Using steam mops on walls
Do not use your steam mop on your walls. Although it may seem a good idea after cleaning your floors to also clean your walls with steam mop. Do not attempt to do this as it may cause the paint to bubble and peel off the wall.
Only put water in the water tank
Most steam mops are designed to be used only with water. There is no need for expensive and environmentally unfriendly detergents. The steam by itself will kill most bacteria, germs and dust mites. Generally you need to hover the steam mop over the area you wish to sanitize for the amount of time in the manufacturer’s instructions. Never leave the steam mop over the same spot for more than 20 seconds as this can damage the floor surface. Generally you need to hold the steam mop over the same spot for about 10 to 15 seconds. But there is no need to sanitize the floor on each steam clean of the floor. if you want the extra cleaning power of detergent there are several steam mops on the market which use both water and detergent.
Never keep cleaning with a dirty mop head
If you are cleaning a large area and the mop cloth starts to become dirty you need to stop and change the cloth head and then continue. Otherwise you are just spreading the dirt around. It is always best to purchase some spare mop clothes so you can change them when necessary during cleaning. After cleaning floor you should remove the steam mop pad and wash it in the washing machine. When finished washing you can leave it to dry flat. Never leave a dirty, damp cloth on the mop head.
Features of Steam Cleaners and Mops
This is a complete list of all the Features and Requirements I use when choosing a steam cleaner or steam mop. Useful when reading product details, description and reviews.
|Accessories||What accessories are provided with the steam cleaner
What sort of quality are they
|Assembly||Was it easy to assemble|
|Build||Sturdy or Flimsy|
|Carpet glider||Does it come with one
How effective is it
|Carpets||can the steam cleaner be used to clean carpets
How effective is it
|Cleaning pads||How many are provided|
|Cleaning surfaces||How good is the steam cleaner on various surfaces
Windows, Hard Floors, Tiles, Shower tiles, Mattresses, Clothing, Kitchen Surfaces, Oven
|Cloth on Mophead||How well does it fit
Drawstring or velcro tabbs
|Concentration nozzle for steam||Does it come with a concentration nozzle|
|Cooling tray||Does it come with a cooling tray|
|Cost||How expensive is the steam cleaner in comparison to similar models|
|Customer Service||UK based
How good is it
How easy is it to return a steam mop or cleaner
|Damp Floors||How damp does the steam cleaner leave the floors|
|Deionised, distilled water||Do you need to use to reduce the effects of limescale|
|Design||Slimline or bulky
Liable to parts breaking
|Economical||No more need to pay for detergents|
|Environmentally Friendly||Cleans without the need of detergents|
|Gauge||To check how much water is left in the water tank|
|Guarantee or Warranty||What does it cover - parts and/or labour
How long for 1 or 2 years
|Handheld Steamer||Can the steam cleaner be converted to a handheld cleaner
How good is it
|Handle||Is it comfortable to hold|
|Hanging||is there a hook to enable you to hang it up after use|
|Heat Mat||Does it have a heat mat to stand the steam cleaner when it is cooling down|
|Heating up time||How long does it take the steam to heat up|
|Height||Can be an issue for comfort of use|
|Steam temperature||What temperature is the steam produced|
|Indicator ready to steam||How does it indicate it is ready to steam|
|Instructions||Are they easy to understand
Do they contain diagrams
|Kills bacteria||Different steam cleaners generate high temperatures|
|Model No||Model No or Part Number|
|Mophead||Is it angled to be good in corners
Does it Swivel
|Noise||is the steamer quiet or noisy|
|Packaging||How well was the steamer packaged when it was received|
|Pets||How good is it when using with pets|
|Power (wattage)||How powerful is the steam cleaner|
|Power cord||How long is it
Is it long enough to do more than one room without unplugging
|Product dimensions||How big is it|
|Reliability||How reliable is it
Does it break down
What is its design weaknesses
|Safety features||For example can't undo the lid if the pressure is high|
|Shoulder strap||Does it come wit a shoulder strap|
|Steam Boost||Does it come with steam boost e.g. able to produce a more powerful burst of steam for a limited time|
|Steam Control||Is there a button or is there a trigger action|
|Steam Pressure||is there a safety valve to prevent you opening the tank when it is under pressure|
|Steaming Time||How many minutes will it produce continuous steam|
|Storage bag||Does it come with a storage bag|
|Storage of Accessories||Are they stored in the steam cleaner or in a separate bag|
|Storing||How easy is it to store|
|Transport||is it easy to move around|
|Water Filter||Is there an inbuilt filter|
|Water Tank||Capacity of the water tank
Is it detachable
is it easy to take off and put back on
Does it come with a measuring cup
How big an area will it clean in one go
|Weight||How heavy is it
Is it difficult to use if you are disabled
|Where reviewed||Where has it been reviewed i.e. Which magazine, top 10 best steam cleaners in the Independent newspaper|
|Window Cloth||Does it come with a window cloth|