They’re here to make mopping so much easier and—dare we say—enjoyable.

By Kat de Naoum and Christie Calucchia
Updated January 27, 2021
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Credit: amazon.com

If you want to minimize the time and effort it takes to complete one of the most dreaded chores known to man—yes, mopping—then you should consider adding a steam mop to your collection of cleaning supplies, pronto. We're not exaggerating about the 'most dreaded chore' part; a 2018 survey reported that 20 percent of Americans have listed mopping as the bane of their household jobs list.

There's certainly a lot to miss from the days of yore, but having to get on your hands and knees to scrub the floors definitely isn't one of them. Thankfully, modern technology advancements in home appliances have made the cleaning game easier. Although you might not be jumping for joy at the thought of cleaning your floors, a good steam mop is guaranteed to change the way you view this task forever.

Benefits of a Steam Mop

With all the benefits a steam mop can provide, chances are, you'll never want to go back to a regular old mop and bucket after you give it a try. Once you fill a regular bucket with hot water, it immediately starts getting cold and losing its disinfecting and sanitizing properties—not to mention, it often gets dirty after the first mop rinse. A steam mop, on the other hand, retains its heat, so it always stays at the optimal temperature to disinfect floors. Thanks to this, you'll never have to use harsh chemicals with overpowering scents—which aren't ideal for use around kids, pets, or anyone with allergies—to make sure your floors are as clean as possible.

Another plus is that the high temperatures a steam mop reaches lift tough stains without requiring extra scrubbing, providing a deep clean for even the yuckiest of bathroom floors. It also gets them spick and span in a fraction of the time because it eliminates the need to stop, re-soak, strain, scrub, and repeat. With a trusty steam mop in hand, you just pass over the whole floor once, and voila.

And since floors dry pretty much instantaneously with a steam mop, you won't have to wait eons before you can walk on the freshly cleaned floor. You'll never need to empty out grimy mop water, either, which equals less contact with dirt all around!

How to Use a Steam Mop

Although the instructions may vary slightly from model to model, using a steam mop is super-easy. Just fill up the steam tank with water, replace the mop cloth—available in disposable, or the more eco- and pocket-friendly reusable wipes—plug it in, and you're good to go. Scrubbing is limited to extremely stubborn, stuck-on stains, but if anything can get rid of those, it's a good steam mop.

Now that you know why a steam mop trumps a regular mop in more ways than one, we  found 11 of the best—from trusted brands like Bissell, Shark, and O-Cedar—that'll make cleaning your home a breeze.

Credit: amazon.com

1

$89, amazon.com

Killing 99 percent of germs and bacteria, the Bissell PowerFresh steam mop is one of the most popular and effective models around. In fact, it’s Amazon’s best-selling steam mop. Its low-profile mop head can easily access hard-to-reach corners and edges, and there are three steam levels to choose from. Over 9,200 Amazon users gave this mop a positive review; one such happy customer wrote, “I am so in love with this steam mop… My floors are the cleanest they have ever been with 5-10 minutes of mopping. I kid you not, I would lick these 30 year old vinyl floors.”

Credit: amazon.com

2

$120, amazon.com

When you’re done cleaning the floor with the Shark, you simply press a button, and the dirty mop cloth gets released directly into the washing machine or laundry hamper—meaning you don’t need to have any direct contact with grime and dirt. This hands-free model also has a steam blaster option for tough spots, getting rid of them with almost zero effort on your part.

Thousands of reviewers seem to agree that this Shark model is lightweight and easy to use. One of the many five-star reviews reads, “I just had shoulder surgery and carpal tunnel surgery, this is the perfect steam mop. It has made my life so much easier. There’s no fighting with the pads to put them on or take them off. Plus, I don’t have to touch the dirty ones afterwards.”

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3

$75, amazon.com

There are few things this steam mop can’t clean. It’s safe to use on all floor surfaces, from hardwood to granite, and it comes with multiple attachments to help you sanitize other areas of your home, too. A handheld steam cleaner, three different brush heads, a nozzle, and an extension rod help you clean tight corners, upholstery, curtains, carpet, clothing, and more.

More than 1,000 people have left the steam cleaner five-star reviews on Amazon, and many note how easy it is to use. “My tile floors have never been cleaner, and the windows are absolutely dust- and handprint-free,” a happy customer said. “I think this is one of the more versatile appliances I have in the house because I get to use it on pretty much every surface.”

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4

$219, amazon.com

This pet-friendly steam mop doubles as a vacuum cleaner to help you tackle dirty floors with just one device. It comes with disposable pads for pet messes better left in the trash, as well as washable microfiber pads for lighter cleanups that you can reuse again and again. Along with the cleaning pads, the steam mop offers a powerful vacuum machine to remove pet hair and debris from hardwood, ceramic, granite, marble, and linoleum floors.

With over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon, the two-in-one steam mop clearly impresses. “Being able to suck up all the dog hair and dirt while steam mopping is seriously the best thing ever,” one reviewer wrote.

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5

$150, amazon.com

To achieve a professional-grade clean on larger-than-average areas, opt for the Dupray Neat steam cleaner. This multipurpose, heavy-duty cleaner can run for 50 minutes before you’ll have to fill up the water tank again—cleaning and sanitizing everything in its path—so you can likely reach every room in your home with one pass. With wheels and a retractable handle, it comes with 18 professional cleaning accessories to give your floors their deepest clean yet.

Customers rave about its professional-grade cleaning abilities, with one writing, “Thank you, Dupray! I have a 1,000-square-foot home…this cleaner holds half a gallon of water and that's more than enough to steam-clean all of my floors in about 30 minutes. It's freakin’ awesome!” Another said it offers “professional quality at a reasonable price.”

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6

$120, amazon.com

What sets this steam mop apart from the rest is the fact that it includes a detachable handheld steamer with an array of attachments to make cleaning just about anything a snap. It comes with microfiber mop pads for the floor, grout cleaning brushes for tile, and a jet nozzle for sticky messes that need a little extra scrubbing power. It can even transform into a garment steamer to eliminate wrinkles on clothes or deep clean upholstery.

The steam mop has racked up over 2,000 positive reviews on Amazon from shoppers who say the results speak for themselves. “I wasn’t sure that a steamer would make much difference on my floors. I was wrong. It worked miracles!” one customer said.

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7

$61 (was $80), amazon.com

This affordable steam mop is a basic option that will certainly get the job done. It comes with two washable and reusable microfiber pads that lift and trap dirt. All you have to do is fill the included flask with water and let the mop create a powerful sanitizing steam (it gets going in just 30 seconds). The swivel head is easy to move around and the pads are two-sided, so you’ll get every nook and cranny clean.

With over 3,100 five-star reviews and 13,500 five-star ratings on Amazon, it’s clear this steam mop has a good reputation. One reviewer even claims it’s better than other popular floor cleaners, including Swiffers. “I've basically tried every floor cleaning solution that is not this product: string mops, sponge mops, Swiffers, and the Swiffer Wet Jet thing. They all fall short in some way,” the shopper wrote. “This product is all of those things combined, but better.”

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8

$119 (was $139), amazon.com

With its grout-scrubbing, heavy-duty bristles, this steam mop is perfect for any hardwood flooring as it can simultaneously steam and scrub the area with every pass for the deepest and quickest clean yet. “This is my first steam mop and I love it,” reported one customer. “It is amazing how clean my floors are and the ease of getting in the corners.”

In addition to cleaning bare floors, the Steamboy Pro can also sanitize carpets thanks to its 245-degree vapor steam temperature. An ergonomic handle, a foot release locking function, and a 180-degree swivel head are a few added bonuses that make for an extremely comfortable user experience.

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9

$200, amazon.com

The Bissell Spinwave hard mop not only gives you 20 minutes of battery-powered, cordless freedom to roam around the whole house, cleaning every floor in sight, but it also has dual rotating mop heads that scrub the floor for you. The on-demand spray shoots out cleaning solution for getting rid of those tough spots, and the reusable microfiber pads—which are unforgiving on messes, but gentle on sealed hard floors—are machine-washable so you can use them time and time again.

More than 1,100 Amazon reviewers left this savvy appliance a perfect five-star rating, touting its convenient design and quiet-yet-effective operation as major wins. One reviewer called it “the best hardwood floor cleaner you can buy,” while another said, “I have fallen in love with an appliance.” A third mentioned its ergonomic construction: “The tool is heavy enough where it pushes down on the ground and actually gets up stubborn dirt and grime, but the second you turn it on it feels as light as a feather. I could move it around with a single finger.”

Credit: amazon.com

10

$102, amazon.com

According to the brand, the O-Cedar microfiber steam mop was tested on E. coli bacteria and killed 99.9 percent of it without any cleaning chemicals. Impressive stuff! Heating up in a mere 20 seconds, it has adjustable steam settings and an ergonomic triangular mop head to reach any area in your home. It also comes with two reusable and machine-washable microfiber pads—which are ideal for reducing waste—and a snap-on glider brush that allows you to clean carpets. And at just 5 pounds, the O-Cedar steam mop is one of the lightest of its kind; it’s perfect for carrying up and down the stairs or cleaning multiple rooms without getting a sore shoulder.

“This is an incredible steam cleaner,” wrote one customer. “Very easy to assemble and use. It is lightweight and easily gets into corners with the triangle shape head. It is easy to fill and easy to empty when you are finished. It cleans beautifully; I had no idea my floors were so dirty!”

Credit: amazon.com

11

$180, amazon.com

Both a vacuum and a steam mop, this cleaning powerhouse does it all. No more sweeping before mopping; instead, Bissell’s PowerFresh device lets you switch between vacuuming, steaming, or a combination of the two with the push of a button. There’s even a smart tank that keeps debris dry while you steam.

It has over 1,500 five-star ratings on Amazon, and shoppers call it a “game-changer.” One added, “Throw your mop away… Trust me you won’t regret buying this.”