The 7 Best Steam Mops of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Cleaner is our top pick for its versatility and impressive cleaning power.

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Best Steam Mops

Real Simple / Dera Burreson

A steam mop is an effective tool for killing germs and bacteria without using harsh chemicals. These appliances can remove stains, get rid of grime, and deep clean your floors with little effort on your part. Plus, no mop bucket or hands-and-knees scrubbing is required—what more you could ask for?

To find the best steam mops, we tested 27 popular models in our Lab and evaluated each on its ease of use, effectiveness, portability, ease of cleaning, maneuverability, and value. We also considered factors such as cord length, weight, and steam output. For expert insight, we tapped Gary McCoy, Lowe’s store manager serving the Charlotte, North Carolina market. 

McCoy says steam mops can both clean and sanitize floors using water alone: “These handy appliances don't rely on typical cleaning solutions to kill germs, but instead, use water to steam-sanitize your floors and sealed surfaces,” says McCoy. “You can remove up to 99 percent of germs using a steam cleaner with a reusable microfiber cloth.”

Our top pick, the PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Cleaner, was able to remove all the stains in our testing, and it comes with numerous attachments and a built-in handheld steamer for tackling a variety of surfaces. 

Here are the best steam mops, according to our testing.

Best Overall Steam Mop

PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop

4.8
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an effective steam mop that can clean most surfaces in the home.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to have to keep track of a lot of attachments. 

The PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Cleaner came out on top in our testing, in part because it comes with numerous attachments for cleaning just about anything in the home—from flooring to mirrors to garments. In our Lab tests, the steamer was able to remove all the stains we tested it on in less than 10 passes—even stubborn syrup and hot sauce stains. It also performed particularly well on grout, thanks to the brush attachments that make it easy to scrub the nooks and crannies.

When filled with water, this steam mop weighed just over 5 pounds, and the water heated up in just 17 seconds (faster than the manufacturer’s estimate of 30 seconds). According to the brand, the 12.8-ounce tank allows you to clean for up to 25 minutes, depending on which setting you use. The indicator light lets you know when the unit is on, and you can use the dial to switch between different steam settings depending on your mess. This is a continuous steam mop, so there’s no need to hold down a button while you work (but you can still amp up the steam output using the dial). 

Testers note that this steam mop is easy to maneuver, and the mop head easily swivels and fits into angles, so corners aren’t left unclean. The steam mop alerts you when the tank is empty by making a sound and vibrating. It took just 90 seconds to completely cool off, and testers say the mop head was easy to remove. 

This is one of the more versatile steam mops on our list thanks to its many accessories and features. The built-in handheld steam cleaner can be removed for use on garments, upholstery, and other small surfaces. According to the manufacturer, its various attachments make it compatible with vinyl, tiles, marble, glass/mirrors, carpets, furniture, garments/fabric, and even hardwood (although you should always use caution when cleaning hardwood floors with steam, as wood is prone to warping when exposed to drastic temperature and moisture changes). 

Considering the functionality and performance of this steam mop, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it costs about 25 percent less than the median price of the steam mops we tested—making this all-in-one appliance a serious steal.

Price at time of publish: $81

Product Details: 

  • Steam Output: Continuous 
  • Cord Length: 15.9 feet
  • Tank Capacity: 12.8 ounces
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Cleaner test image

Real Simple/Dera Burreson

Best Budget Steam Mop

Black+Decker Steam-Mop

4.3
Black+Decker Steam-Mop

Walmart

Who it’s for: People who want an affordable and lightweight steam mop that can easily maneuver around small spaces.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a steam mop for cleaning grout.

For navigating tight spaces, such as bathrooms or small kitchens, the Black+Decker Classic Steam Mop is a great (not to mention affordable) choice. In our tests, it weighed just over 5 pounds when full of water: “I have some hand issues that make lifting anything above 5 pounds difficult,” says one tester. “I had no trouble at all lifting, moving, carrying this unit.”

It took about 40 seconds to heat up, which is slightly longer than the listed 30 seconds. In terms of maneuverability, this steam mop has a 180-degree swivel mop head that testers say was able to get close to edges and around chair legs. Plus, the slim build makes it easy to slide under furniture. 

The manufacturer notes that it can clean “nearly every sealed surface,” and although it was able to remove stains on most surfaces in our tests, it struggled to clean the grout on the ceramic tile flooring. One tester also notes that the steam mop doesn’t stay upright, so it needs to be propped up against a wall if you take a break while cleaning. It doesn’t come with any attachments beyond the mop pad, either. But given that it costs nearly half of the median price of those we tested, this steam mop is still an overall great buy.

Price at time of publish: $59

Product Details: 

  • Steam Output: Continuous 
  • Cord Length: 16 feet 
  • Tank Capacity: 12.8 ounces
  • Weight: 5 pounds
 Black+Decker Classic Steam Mop testing

Real Simple/Dera Burreson

Best Steam Mop With Attachments

Bissell 15441/A PowerFresh Pet Lift-Off 2-in-1 Scrubbing & Sanitizing Steam Mop

4.5
Bissell 15441/A PowerFresh Pet Lift-Off 2-in-1 Scrubbing & Sanitizing Steam Mop

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a versatile steam mop that can clean anywhere.
Who it isn’t for:
People who need a lightweight steam mop that can easily slide under low-lying furniture. 

The Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop is designed to clean practically any surface in the home, including above-floor messes. It comes with an impressive 13 attachments, and the removable Lift-Off pod converts the unit into a handheld steamer for cleaning sinks, pet beds, showers, and more. But most importantly, this steam mop proved very effective in our testing: “Of all the mops I tried, the Bissell Powerfresh Lift-Off Pet was the clear winner in terms of effectiveness,” says one tester. “It took a total of three passes to remove the sticky, dried-on maple syrup. The same task took most other models anywhere from 12 to 60 passes. The steam nozzle cleaned the stains in the grout without a pre-treatment or scrubbing.”

Plus, the steamer took just 32 seconds to heat up. It has a continuous steam function with two settings—high and low. But unlike many of the other models we tested, it features an on/off button so you can turn the steam off and switch attachments without unplugging it from the wall. And the mop head was cool enough to handle in just 12 seconds after turning off the unit, so you can quickly change accessories without running the risk of a burn. 

The many attachments include a grout tool, a window squeegee tool, and a fabric steamer, just to name a few. However, the steam mop doesn't have on-board storage. Instead, it comes with a storage bag that holds the many accessories separate from the unit. Additionally, it includes two “odor-eliminating fragrance discs,” which testers say left a very fresh and clean scent: “I'd be tempted to steam mop all the time, just so my house smelled like this every day!”

Testers do note that when fully assembled, this steam mop is on the heavier side, and it can be a little bulky for sliding under low-lying furniture. However, with a little extra effort, you can use the removable Lift-Off pod to clean hard-to-reach places.

Price at time of publish: $145

Product Details: 

  • Steam Output: Continuous 
  • Cord Length: 25 feet 
  • Tank Capacity: 13.5 ounces
  • Weight: 10.6 pounds
Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop testing

Real Simple/Dera Burreson

Best Steam Mop With Vacuum

Bissell PowerFresh Vac & Steam All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop

4.2
Bissell PowerFresh Vac & Steam All-in-One

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a device that can vacuum and steam hard floors at the same time.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to vacuum carpets and rugs, too. 

Those with limited storage space will appreciate this all-in-one steam mop that can steam clean and vacuum hard floors simultaneously. In our testing, the steam function took fewer passes to remove stains than other models, completely removing maple syrup without leaving behind any sticky residue. But keep in mind that this mop-and-vacuum combo is not going to be effective at lifting embedded dirt from high-pile carpeting, so it’s best reserved for hard floors. According to Bissell, it’s safe to use on all sealed surfaces including hardwood, ceramic and tile, marble, and linoleum.

You can use the digital controls to toggle between vacuuming, steaming, or both. The steam function also comes with two settings—high and low. This is an on-demand steam mop, meaning the trigger must be held down to release steam. Our testers note that the vacuum function works slightly better when used without steam because steam has a tendency to make the debris heavier. You may want to switch between the two functions when tackling bigger messes. 

In terms of build, this is one of the heavier units we tested—but given that it’s both a steam mop and a vacuum, we’re willing to overlook this. The mop head itself has a low profile, but the body is somewhat bulky for going under furniture. In our tests, it took 30 seconds to heat up and one minute and 45 seconds to cool down. 

One feature we don’t love is the water tank. It’s not removable and can only be emptied by turning it on its side over a bucket. Testers also note that the mop head does not swivel, which can make it difficult to navigate around awkwardly shaped spaces. However, we do appreciate that this unit comes with a foot pedal that makes it easy to release the mop head. Keep in mind that it doesn’t come with any attachments besides the mop pads and detachable tray, so it’s not going to work on above-floor messes or small crevices. But for a device that knocks off two chores at once, it’s still an excellent value.

Price at time of publish: $185

Product Details: 

  • Steam Output: On-demand
  • Cord Length: 25 feet 
  • Tank Capacity: 12.8 ounces
  • Weight: 9.7 pounds
Bissell PowerFresh Vac & Steam Vacuum and Steam Mop testing

Real Simple/Dera Burreson

Best Steam Mop for Grout

Hoover Steam Complete Pet

4.6
Hoover Steam Complete Pet

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a steam mop with a removable handheld steamer that’s effective at removing tough stains from grout. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a steam mop with a continuous steam output. 

Out of all the steam mops we tested, the Hoover Steam Complete Pet Steam Mop was one of the most effective on grout, thanks in part to its removable handheld steamer and grout cleaning attachment. Testers note that the mop was able to completely remove stains on all surfaces. Plus, it was the quickest to heat up and cool down out of all the models we tested—it took just five seconds to heat up and cooled down instantly, making it easy to switch out attachments. 

This steam mop comes with a main water tank and a supplemental water tank, but still only weighs just over 7 pounds when full. “The weight and design of this steam mop made it easy to carry around and use even with the two tanks completely filled,” says one tester. And the swivel mop head makes it easy to navigate around corners and furniture. 

We found the controls (which include a dial for adjusting the steam output) easy to use and operate. But keep in mind this is an on-demand steam mop, so you’ll need to hold the trigger down in order to release steam. The 10 attachments include a hard surface squeegee, an upholstery cloth, a carpet glider, and more. The mop pad stretched out a bit during use, according to our testers, but given that this steam mop falls right at the median price of all those we tested and it proved to be both effective and versatile, this is rather a small inconvenience.

Price at time of publish: $110

Product Details: 

  • Steam Output: On-demand
  • Cord Length: 26 feet
  • Tank Capacity: 12.8 ounces 
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
Hoover Steam Complete Pet Steam Mop

Real Simple/Dera Burreson

Best Lightweight Steam Mop

Reliable Pronto Plus 300CS 2-In-1 Steam Cleaner

4.8
Reliable Pronto Plus 300CS 2-In-1 Steam Cleaner

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who have difficulty lifting heavy objects and want a lightweight steam mop. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a steam mop that can stand upright on its own. 

This ultra-lightweight steam cleaner is perfect for maneuvering around the house with ease. It weighs just 2 pounds and 9 ounces on its own, and 4 pounds and 9 ounces when the water tank is at capacity. The smartly designed triangular swivel mop head makes it easy to get into every corner and around any obstacle with ease. Not to mention, it converts into a handheld steamer for above-floor cleaning. 

In our testing, the Reliable Pronto Plus 300CS took just 15 seconds to heat up and six seconds to cool off, making it safe and easy to switch out the numerous attachments as you go. The controls are easy to use, too—simply pull the trigger to start the continuous steam output and pull it again to stop it. You can also adjust the steam pressure using the dial. Testers say this mop took fewer passes to completely remove stains than many of the others we tested, and the high-pressure jet nozzle made quick work of grout stains: “It was incredibly satisfying watching the steam slough off the debris and send it flying from the grout lines,” says one tester. 

The tank is removable, so refilling it in the sink is a cinch. However, testers do note that this steam mop is a bit top-heavy, which prevents it from standing up on its own. “I couldn't even lean it against a wall or a chair reliably without it falling over onto the floor,” says one tester. “The only way to take your hands off of it was to lay it on the floor or hang it on the provided wall hanger, which might not be too convenient.”

Overall, its lightweight and slim build paired with its numerous attachments (including a carpet and fabric glider) make this a well-rounded steam mop that almost anyone can use. One tester even says, “I'm thinking of buying one for myself. I loved it so much!”

Price at time of publish: $149

Product Details: 

  • Steam Output: Continuous 
  • Cord Length: 19.7 feet 
  • Tank Capacity: 11.8 ounces
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
Reliable Pronto Plus 300CS Steam Cleaning System testing

Real Simple/Dera Burreson

Best Large-Capacity Steam Mop

Bissell 1806 PowerFresh Deluxe Scrubbing & Sanitizing Steam Mop

4.6
Bissell 1806 PowerFresh Deluxe Scrubbing & Sanitizing Steam Mop

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a steam mop with a large water tank that’s not overly heavy.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a steam mop that comes with many different attachments.

If you want a powerful, no-frills steam mop for cleaning large spaces, look no further than the Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop. This mop has the second largest water tank out of all the steam mops we tested, at a generous 19 ounces. But don’t worry about it being heavy or cumbersome—it weighs just 6.5 pounds when completely full of water, making it well-suited for tackling large homes without tiring out your arms.

Even more importantly, this steam mop was one of the most effective at removing stubborn stains, including dried-on maple syrup and red hot sauce stains on grout. It was able to heat up in just 28 seconds and cool down in one minute and 12 seconds. And, unlike other mops that require you to switch out attachments for different tasks, this mop comes with the “attachments” built-in—simply remove the mop head to reveal the SpotBoost Brush that’s perfect for scrubbing extra-stubborn messes. 

The mop comes with two steam settings and an on/off button. It also includes two scent discs that can be placed in the built-in scent tray to release fragrance as you clean. One tester notes that the low-profile, swivel-head mop makes “cleaning around corners and obstacles a breeze.”

In terms of value, the mop retails for less than the median price of the steam mops we tested. Although it doesn’t come with many attachments or extras, the thoughtful design and cleaning power make it a great choice for the money.

Price at time of publish: $103

Product Details: 

  • Steam Output: Continuous 
  • Cord Length: 25 feet 
  • Tank Capacity: 19 ounces
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds
Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop testing

Real Simple/Dera Burreson

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Cleaner because it was able to remove all the stains in less than 10 passes in our testing, including stuck-on syrup and hot sauce stains. Additionally, it comes with numerous attachments and a built-in handheld cleaner, so you can clean just about any surface in the home. 

For a budget option, we like the Black+Decker Classic Steam Mop because it’s nearly half the median price of the steam mops we tested, and it has a slim, lightweight design that makes it easy to maneuver around tight spaces. Plus, it was able to remove stains from almost all the surfaces in our testing (with the exception of grout). 

Our Testing Process 

We rounded up 27 steam mops and put them through a series of tests in our Lab, evaluating each on ease of use, effectiveness, portability, ease of cleaning, maneuverability, and value. To start, our testers filled each steam mop to capacity with distilled water and weighed it on the scale to see how heavy it is when full. (The Reliable Pronto Plus 300CS Steam Cleaning System was the most lightweight when full, at 4 pounds and 9 ounces.) Next, testers used a stopwatch to record the amount of time it took each steam mop to heat up to its highest setting, taking note of whether there was an indicator light and whether any water dripped or puddled on the floor. Out of all those we tested, the Hoover Steam Complete Pet Steam Mop was the fastest to heat up, taking just five seconds. 
To evaluate the effectiveness of each steam mop on different floor types, we completed the following tests on both sealed concrete and sealed ceramic tile flooring:

  1. Testers used the steam mop to target different types of stains, using any attachments or settings necessary and noting how many passes were required to clean each stain. We made sure to maneuver around obstacles and clean within the corners of the testing area to determine how well the mop head handles angles.
  2. Testers used a stopwatch to time how long it took for the mop to stop producing steam after it had been turned off. 
  3. Once the mop was completely cool, testers removed the mop pad and assessed how much dirt and debris it had accumulated.
  4. For steam mops with a detachable, handheld steamer, we evaluated how easy they were to carry with one hand for steaming curtains or windows. 

Finally, our testers received the retail price of each steam mop and scored its overall value considering its cost and performance in our Lab tests. We will also be sending the steam mops out with real-world testers, who will provide feedback after one, three, and six months of use. 

Hoover Steam Complete Pet Steam Mop floor testing

Real Simple / Dera Burreson

How to Shop for Steam Mops Like a Pro

Floor Type

Keep in mind that steam mops only work on certain surfaces. Most steam mop manufacturers say to avoid using them on unsealed floors, which can sustain damage when exposed to excess moisture. In general, McCoy says steam mops are safe to use on glass, sealed tile and grout, stainless steel, sealed wood, and sealed granite and stone. However, it’s always a good idea to check the specifications of your steam mop before use. 

And be careful with hardwood and laminate flooring: Despite marketing claims, these types of floors can easily warp or swell when exposed to extreme moisture and temperature changes. “Even if you use the best steam mop on the market, cleaning your hardwood floors with it can potentially damage them or void your warranty, so be careful when choosing a floor to clean,” says McCoy.

Steam Output

Steam mops release steam one of two ways: continuous or on-demand. Once they heat up, continuous steam mops keep producing steam, meaning less effort is required on your part. On-demand steam mops require pulling a trigger or holding down a button to dispense the steam. This takes extra effort on your part, but it gives you better control over the steam output so you can dispense extra bursts of steam for stubborn stains. 

Some steam mops also come with adjustable steam output, which allows you to switch between different levels of steam depending on the mess. (Both continuous and on-demand steam mops can have adjustable steam settings.)

Tank Capacity

The tank capacity of a steam mop directly correlates to how much you can clean at a time. But keep in mind that a larger water tank also means a heavier unit. Most steam mops have a tank capacity between 12 and 15 ounces. For a large home, look for a capacity of 15 ounces or more (our best large-capacity pick, the Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop, has a tank capacity of 19 ounces). If you have a small apartment or want a lightweight steam mop, look for a model with a smaller tank.

Maneuverability

Weight and cord length are major considerations when it comes to maneuverability, especially if you’ll be navigating a large or heavily furnished space. (Since cordless steam mops don’t exist yet, people with large homes should look for models with long cords.) You should also consider the shape of the mop head for getting around tight spaces and into corners. The best steam mops will glide around obstacles without leaving tight corners unclean or keeping you closely tethered to an outlet.

Accessories and Features

Most steam mops on the market come with an array of attachments and accessories that add to their functionality. You’ll find steam mops with squeegees for cleaning glass and mirrors, corner tools for tackling every last nook and cranny, and even fabric steamers. “Some steam mop cleaners can even easily convert to handheld steam cleaners for sanitizing areas that may be hard to reach with a mop,” says McCoy. Others can even double as vacuum cleaners, too (like the Bissell PowerFresh Vac & Steam Vacuum and Steam Mop).

Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop testing

Real Simple / Dera Burreson

More Steam Mops to Consider 

Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop: This small-but-mighty steam mop did a good job removing stains in our testing. We particularly liked the “Steam Blaster” function, which gives you a powerful burst of targeted steam for stuck-on stains. However, it missed the mark for its water tank capacity of just 7 ounces, especially given that it's not as lightweight as some of the other options on our list that have larger capacities. 

True & Tidy STM 500 Heavy-Duty Steam Mop: This steam mop earned high marks for maneuverability and ease of use, thanks to its removable water tank, adjustable steam dial, swivel-head mop, and lightweight build. It performed relatively well in our stain testing, although it took more passes than those that made our list. Unfortunately, the removable mop pad seemed to want to roll under the mop head when used on uneven surfaces, which can make for a frustrating experience.

True & Tidy Steam Mop testing

Real Simple / Dera Burreson

Questions You Might Ask

Do steam mops sanitize floors?

Steam mops work by heating water in a reservoir and sending a burst of hot steam onto whatever surface is being cleaned. When used correctly, steam mops can sanitize floors due to the high temperature of the steam, but to truly sanitize, you’ll have to hold the mop in place for longer. However, steam mops are still more effective at killing germs than traditional mops.

Can you add cleaning solution to a steam mop?

Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, steam mops should not be used with cleaning solutions. The high temperature of the steam is enough to clean the surface effectively with water, and adding a cleaning solution to the reservoir can damage those steam mops that are not intended to be used with a cleaner (and maybe even void the warranty). McCoy says this makes steam mops “a great option for those who are looking to reduce the number of cleaning chemicals they use in their home or who may have family members who are sensitive to other cleaning solutions.” 

Can you use tap water in a steam mop?

Although some manufacturers claim their steam mops can be used with tap water, it’s best to use distilled water in a steam mop, just to be safe. Mineral deposits in tap water can build up over time and clog the steam nozzle. Using distilled water is particularly important if you have hard water because its high mineral content will cause the nozzle to clog more quickly.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To compile this list, we tested 27 steam mops in our Lab and evaluated them on ease of use, effectiveness, portability, ease of cleaning, maneuverability, and value. For professional insight, Melanie consulted Gary McCoy, Lowe’s store manager serving the Charlotte, North Carolina market.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums. 

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