Faced with a dirty kitchen floor to clean or carpet that needs a refresh, a steam mop may be your best solution.
Now after spending over twenty hours of research, which included reviews and reading manufactures manuals. I am confident that the Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner is the best steam mop for most people.
A competitively priced compared with similar models of steam mops. This steam mop is one of the latest Vax models and includes features not found in earlier models. These features include a floor selector, steam burst, scrubbing brush and lime scale filter.
|The Best Steam Mop||BEST BUY|
|Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam|
This is a steam mop which includes all the necessary features to clean your floors and refresh your carpets.Shop now at Amazon
|The Budget Steam Mop||Budget Buy|
|Morphy Richards 720515 Multi Floors|
If you want to spend less or just need a mop for occasional cleaning. I recommend the Morphy Richards 720515 Multi Floors Steam Mop as it is light and easy to use.Shop now at Amazon
Table of Contents
- Why you should trust me
- Different types of steam mop
- How I picked and tested
- Best Steam Mop Buy
- Budget Steam Mop Buy
- The Other Steam Mops I considered
Why you should trust me
I have been researching and reviewing all types of steam mops for the last five years. While writing this best buy guide, I have looked at scores of customer reviews to identify any problems with particular models. In addition, I have read the manufacturer’s user models.
Different types of steam mop
- There are four types of steam mop or cleaner
- Steam Mop
- 2 in 1 Steam Mop and Handheld
- Hand held Steam Cleaner
- Cylinder Steam Cleaner
- In this guide, I have just looked at steam mops. If you are interested in other steam mop guides just click on the relevant link.
How I picked and tested
To find the best steam mop, I first narrowed the number of steam mops down to about 32. These are all currently been sold in the UK by various online retailers. There are no doubt other, probably older models out there. However, I feel the list I have researched is sufficient to find the best model for the majority of users. I have excluded the ones where ranking of less than four stars or the equivalent in a review. I have concluded that these models would appear to have design faults. I have then compared the specifications of the leading steam mops and looked at the performance of the stream mops before coming to a final decision.
I have researched other consumer recommended sites for their best steam mops. Unfortunately, some of these reviews are several years old and may contain models that are no longer available. The Which Magazine also recommends the Vax Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner as their best model. This model is also currently a best seller on Amazon.
There is one decision, which is required when you choose a steam mop. Do you buy one, which cleans by steam power only? On the other hand, one, which uses steam, combined with detergent. From my own personal experience, steam alone is not sufficient to remove all difficult spills and grime. To achieve this, you need to use a mixture of steam and detergent. Therefore, for the best buy I have recommended a steam plus detergent model. Out of the 32 steam mops reviewed, 12 of these used both steam and detergent. This includes the majority of Vax steam mops. Vax is the market leader in steam mops, 9 out of 12 use detergent.
As steam, only mops are generally cheaper than steam plus detergent mops. The budget buy is a steam only mop. In this guide, I was going to recommend a high-end mop. That is one which is more expensive than the best buy, but with more features and a better performance. However, after extensive research I am unable to find a better mop than the Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam.
Best Steam Mop Buy
I believe the Vax Steam Fresh Pet Cleaner is the best steam mop currently on the market. It has also been rated number one by Which consumer magazine. This is one of the more recent and improved Vax Steam Mops.
It incorporates many new feature such as a dial for different floor types, steam burst and scrubbing brush for head to clean areas and a hard water filter. This steam mop is both robust and well built. This steam cleaner uses a combination of steam and detergent to remove dirt and stains while leaving your floors smelling fresh. Alternatively, if you wish, you can use just steam only.
This model is identical to the Vax S86-SF-P Boost. However, it comes with an additional pet pad and pet detergent. Together these help to remove pet hair and neutralise pet odour. You can check out further the Vax Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner at Amazon.
Watch this Video – because it is only 34 secs long
Who is the steam mop designed for?
This steam mop is for customers who want a robust, well-built steam cleaner. Which they can use to both clean floors and refresh your carpets. This model does not incorporate a handheld cleaner. If you require a steam mop with an incorporated handheld steam cleaner, please see the Best 2 in 1 Steam Mop and Handheld Guide.
Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner Performance
The Vax steam fresh pet cleaner comes easy to assemble. You just fit the handle into the base. The instructions are mainly illustrations, with a little text and are easy to follow.
The cleaner is light and easy to use. It leaves hard floors clean and carpet refreshed. To operate it has a compartment with two tanks one for detergent and one for the detergent and water mix.
Additionally it has an on/off switch, a dial to select the floor type and a steam boost button on the mop head. To attach the microfiber pads you just lay them on the floor, place the mop head on top, and attach with the Velcro strips. The edges do overlap a little. However, this helps the cleaner to get right into the edges and corners of the room.
While cleaning the vinyl flooring in the kitchen the cleaner was easy to use. But requires a little more effort to clean on harder to clean areas. A trigger on the handle controls the steam. On the carpet, you need to clip on the carpet glider to the mop head. This takes a little more effort to ensure it glides over the carpet. However, the carpet comes up clean and fresh. The pile stands out after cleaning the carpet and it looks cleaner.
Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner Features
Delivery – The steam mop arrived quickly. It was well packaged and arrived in perfect condition.
Assembly – The mop was easy to assemble. You just have to fit the handle into the base. The mop is self-locking and stands upright on its own so is easy to store. It can also be hung with the loop provides on the handle of the mop.
Clear instruction book – The instructions are clear and easy to understand. They are in the form of pictures and a little text to accompany the pictures. Which explains the assembly and use and features of the steam mop.
Water tanks – The water and detergent tanks now come in one unit. Therefore, you now only have to remove one container to fill it with water rather than with two containers in previous models. The tanks are easy to fill after you have removed them. If you want to steam, only you just need to fill up the water tank. If you want detergent, you need to mix a quantity of detergent with water and add it to the detergent tank.
Variable steam settings – The steam cleaner has a selector to choose different floor type settings. This is to give the best performance for each floor type. The four settings are wood, titles, vinyl and carpet. The floor settings give the appropriate mix of detergent to steam for the floor type. For example, detergent only on tile and vinyl surfaces. Also for wooden floors, the setting is less steamy because of their delicate nature. In addition, there is a boost button for extra hard to remove dirt.
Trigger mechanism – The steam mop has a trigger control, which you press when you require steam and release when you want to pause the steam. To product short bursts of steam, you just squeeze and release the trigger. The trigger is used, as Vax do not recommend that you use a constant steam delivery. You should use short bursts of steam combined with a ‘dry pass’. This helps to give a clean dry finish to your floors. Constant holding down the trigger will mean that you end up with wet floors but shows no improvement in the cleaning of your to your floors.
Heats up quickly and long running time – The mop heats up quickly and so is ready to steam within 30 seconds. It also benefits from a long 30 minutes steaming time. This is because it has a reasonably large tank capacity of 0.8 litre.
Option to use detergent – Vax has produced a specially prepared detergent, which breaks down grease better than by only using steam. Which means you can clean your floors faster and more effectively. The detergent together with steam the detergent can eliminate 99.9% of bacteria for up to seven days from your surfaces. In addition, the detergent will neutralises odours. You can also just use steam.
Power cord – The steam mop comes with an extra-long power cord. This is 9 metres long and a purple colour. Which means it is not so easy to trip over when steaming. Also allows you to clean more than one room in one go without changing socket. A unique feature to this model is that there is storage for the plug as well as the cable on the mop.
Tools and accessories – The mop head swivels and is great for getting into edges and corner of the room. If you take, the outer head of the mop head off this exposes a hard scrubbing brush. Which you use to aid removing ingrained dirt and stains. On the head of the steam mop there is a steam boost which when pressed will produce an extra boost of steam to remove extra tough dirt and stains. It comes with a carpet glider, which attaches to the base of the mop head and you can use to refresh your carpets with steam. There is included three mop heads. One of which is a pet pad, which is slightly thicker and is great for picking up cats hairs.
Hard water Filter Scale remover – The mop comes with a built in limescale filter which means the machine will not clog up with limescale you do not have to spend time descaling it. It also means you can fill the tanks with ordinary tap water instead of having to buy distilled water, if you are living in hard water areas.
Improvements compared with older Vax Steam mops
If you compare the Vax S86-SF-P Steam Cleaner with the older but still popular Bare Floor Pro S2S there have been several improvements:
- Build quality is better, better balanced and therefore more stable
- Easier to take off and replace the water and detergent tanks
- Cleaning head is more flexible, turns more readily to get into corners etc.
- Larger mop head which makes it quicker to clean floors
- Microfibre pads attached with Velcro rather than drawstrings
- The new carpet glider clips onto the mop head
- Incorporates a scrub head
- Dial to select floor type
- The on/off is now a slide switch
- Steam boost push button operated with your foot on mop head
- Inbuilt water filter
- Alternative pads for different surfaces.
- Purple cable cord – easy to spot and avoid tripping on
- Cable and plug storage on the machine
Some customers have complained that they found the steam mop slightly heavy to push around the floor. This appears to be a bit of a problem. Particularly at the beginning of the session when both water and detergent tanks are full.
One customer found the caps to the tanks a bit small to remove.
Some customers have complained that the bristle on the scrubbing brush tend to flatten after repeated use.
This model is the version for pets. There is an identical model the Vax S86SFB Steam Fresh Boost Steam. Which does not have the pet pad and pet detergent. However, at the time of writing the Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner is the better value buy for best steam mop.
Many customer stated that this a powerful and mop is an improvement in design on their older Vax mops. That it cleans the floor well with little water left which quickly dries. One factor is the design is better as the cloth goes beyond the mop head which means cleans better in the corners and around the edges of the walls. Also stated that the mop is reliable and continues to function well after repeated use.
This mop is one of Vax’s latest models and as a result incorporated many features, which are improvements on earlier Vax model. For this reason and that it beats other manufacturer’s steam mops in performance and features, I am recommending the Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh Pet Steam Cleaner as our best steam mop buy.
Budget Steam Mop Buy
You may only want a starter mop or one for occasional use. If so the Morphy Richard Multi Floors Steam Mop is the perfect choice. Not only does it take a couple of minutes to assemble. But it is also light and easy to use. Because it has a smaller tank than the Vax S86-SF-P Steam Fresh. It only has a run time of 10 minutes compared with 30 minutes. But the water tank is easy to refill while in use and you can view the level of water left in the tank through a window. The heating up time is the same, 30 seconds.
As this is a budget mop there are not so many extra features like a dial for different floor settings. But it is suitable for use on all sealed floor types and refreshing carpet. It also glides easily over your floors and does not leave an excess of water on the floor. One features it does have is an extendable handle which is an advantage if you are taller than average. I therefore recommend this as my budget buy.
The Other Steam Mops I considered
I have included below brief comments on the leading contenders for best buy. These are mops, which did not quite met the grade.
Vax Steam Mop – S2S-1 Bare Floor Pro with Detergent – this is one of the older Vax models and so does not have all the enhanced features of the best buy. It has a smaller water tank, which means that you have to refill the water tank more frequently. It is still a best seller on Amazon.
Vax S88W1MB Steam Mop S88-W1M-B White – This is an inexpensive steam only mop. Again only, a small tank, it is therefore ok for small areas.
Russell Hobbs RHDSM2001 1500W Steam and Clean Detergent Steam Mop – Runner up to the best buy. It does lack a few features of the best buy, e.g. does not have a dial for different floor settings or a plug tidy.
Vax S86-SF-B Steam Fresh Boost Steam – this is the same model as the best buy Vax S86-SF-P. The only difference is that this model does not come with a pet microfiber pad and the special pet shampoo.
Best Buys Steam Mops Which 2016
Vax Steam Mops Vax 2016
Morphy Richard Steam Mops Morphy Richard Steam Mops 2016