We all love a clean and tidy home but it’s easier said than done, particularly if your floors are subject to a lot of footfall; you have young children, or you have pets. In just a few minutes, a freshly-cleaned floor can go from being so shiny you could eat your dinner off it, to a sticky mosaic of footprints, paw prints, food remnants and spilt juice!! According to the mighty Sir James Dyson, mopping is simply “moving dirty water around, leaving floors soiled”. Not the nicest thought! Cue the steam mop.
A steam mop makes cleaning floors easy and hassle-free. It combines the traditional action of mopping, with the high temperature of steam, resulting in one seriously clean, sanitised floor! How is this possible? Well, steam is at a significantly higher temperature than boiling water and so has the ability to eliminate 99.99% of bacteria, making your hard floors a far safer environment than if they’d been cleaned with boiled water from the kettle. This is particularly relevant if you’ve got young children crawling around. Best of all, there’s no real physical effort required to use a steam mop as a decent lightweight model will do the job by just gliding over stains and grime – no rubbing or scrubbing required!!
Due to the fact that steam mops are so easy to use, require far less effort than a traditional mop and bucket, and eliminate the need for cleaning detergents, they’ve enjoyed a significant popularity boost in recent years and so there are some great deals to be had out there when it comes to choosing the best steam mop model for you and your hard surfaces!
Best Pick Steam Mop
- The quick and easy way to hygienically clean your floors heats up in only 15 seconds
- Kills 99.9 Percent of bacteria on your floor without the need for any cleaning chemicals
- Also includes carpet glider for refreshing carpets. Includes two microfibre pads and a filling jug
- Suitable for use on all sealed hard floor types such as tiles, vinyl, wood and laminate
- Manufacturers two year guarantee
Only got 5 minutes
Steam mopping floors is far quicker than the traditional mop and bucket method, and most steam mops leave little, if any, water behind, so drying time is significantly reduced. They also provide a better standard of cleaning as they sanitise the floor, which is great for if you have young children crawling around or if you or your family suffer from allergies, or are sensitive to the chemicals found in domestic floor detergents.
The best steam mop will be an effective and convenient floor cleaning tool. It stands upright, just like a traditional mop, but with a water tank attached. Just as you would with a steam iron, you simply fill the tank with water; plug it in; wait a minute or two for it to heat up and you’re ready to go!
Do I really need a steam mop?
It’s hard to come up with a reason NOT to upgrade to a steam mop…
- Great for busy households with a lot of foot traffic
- Great if you’re short on time
- Great if want to save money on floor-cleaning detergents
- Great if you’ve got kids that like to crawl or lie on your floor!
- Great for pet owners – no more muddy pawprints!
- Great if you want to help the environment
- Great if you want to declutter and cut down on cleaning products
- Great if you suffer from a bad back
Types of steam mop
Steam mops come in a variety of styles and sizes and some models are more powerful than others in terms of the amount and intensity of steam they produce. The four main types are:
Steam mop advantages
- Compact/easy to store
- Effective in removing germs, bacteria without the need for a cleaning detergent
Best Budget Steam Mop
- This Russell Hobbs steam & clean steam Mop is the perfect addition to your home.
- This steam Mop has a super quick 25 second heat up time and is great for chemical-free cleaning.
- The lightweight design with tilt axis head provides ease of use, making cleaning less Of a chore.
- This steam Mop has up to 25 minute steam time, ideal when you have a large area to clean.
- For safety purposes, this steam Mop has an automatic steam cut off in the upright position. Trigger control
Types of steam mop explained
|Single-purpose||Made solely for cleaning hard floors, this is the most inexpensive type of steam mop. Pay a bit more and you’ll be able to find a model that comes with additional features such as different floor attachments, steam settings and LED indicator lighting.|
|Multipurpose (combi model)||If you like the idea of a handheld steam mop for those hard to reach places but still need your upright steam mop for cleaning your floors, consider a combi model – a multipurpose steam mop consisting of an upright unit and detachable hand-held steam cleaner. A combi model might be a little more expensive, and be slightly heavier seeing as it’s 2 models in 1, but one of these is capable of tackling the majority of steam cleaning tasks, on a variety of surfaces, in a range of places, so it really isn’t hard to justify spending those few extra pounds.|
|Cordless/corded||The majority of steam mops – single-use and multipurpose – will be corded but there are cordless, battery-powered models available. You’re likely to pay more for a cordless steam mop but they do eliminate the need for mains power or cables, allowing you to steam clean uninterrupted and likely shaving a good few minutes off your cleaning time as there’s no stopping and starting to plug/unplug, or detangle from around handles or furniture legs. Be sure to check the battery use time of a cordless model though as, if you’ve got quite a large area to steam, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough time to do all your cleaning in one go without having to stop and recharge.|
|Handheld||A handheld steam mop works by sending a concentrated burst of steam through a nozzle. They may only have a small water tank but this is appropriate for their intended use – they’re designed for cleaning small areas such as wall tiles, kitchen surfaces or those hard to reach nooks and crannies that you just can’t quite get into with your upright steam mop. They’re lightweight and so are easy to carry around and, only being small, storing one shouldn’t be a problem as you can tuck it away in a cupboard or under the stairs.|
How does a steam mop actually work?
Steam mops work by heating up water from a reservoir inside the body of the mop and sending a jet of steam down to the mop head. A reusable microfiber pad attached to the head disperses the steam across the floor. As the steam penetrates and softens the dirt and grime on your floor, the pad picks it up, whilst the heat of the steam kills 99.99% of potentially harmful germs and bacteria.
Granted, the initial outlay for a steam mop is greater than a traditional mop and bucket, but it’s important to remember that after that, apart from the small amount of electricity it uses, and the odd pack of cleaning pads every so often, there shouldn’t be any further expense. The steam alone cleans and sanitises surfaces so there’s no need to shell out for cleaning solutions or chemical detergents. By not using these potentially harmful solutions, you’re also prolonging the life of your hard surfaces, meaning it’ll be further into the future before you have to start thinking about replacing your hard flooring.
Do I really need a steam mop?
If you’re cleaning obsessed, or you’ve got young children, steam mops are one of those ‘couldn’t live without’ types of cleaning tools as it’s likely your hard floors appear to be in constant need of cleaning. They’re great when it comes to loosening and removing stubborn stains such as bolognese, jelly, sticky syrups and fruit juice, without the need for a chemical cleaner – better for your pocket, the environment and the surfaces themselves.
Steam mops are designed to take the stress and hassle out of mopping your floors, saving you time and giving you the peace of mind that your hard floor has had a decent clean. Using a steam mop requires minimal effort – think of pushing a lightweight vacuum over laminate flooring – and is quick and easy to use. A steam mop also allows you to do a ‘continuous’ clean – there’s no need to keep stopping and starting to either ‘wring out’ the mop, or change the dirty water and replenish the cleaning detergent.
- Adjustable steam levels – useful for delicate or durable flooring
- Removable water tank
- A swivel head to negotiate around corners and furniture
- Low profile design
- Decent length power cable
- Multiple cleaning pads
- Lengthy manufacturer’s warranty
- Generous water tank capacity
- Variety of attachments as standard
Combi model (detachable handheld steam cleaner )
Best of the Rest
- Steam + detergent breaks down grease and grime faster than steam alone and leaves floors smelling fresh
- Built in handheld steamer which is suitable for cleaning of taps, tiles, windows, mirrors and more. Water tank capacity - 0.26 Solution tank capacity - 200 ml, Steaming time - 15 minutes
- Quick and easy - ready to go in 40 seconds. Steam flow rate 15 gram per minute
- Angular floor head gets into corners and other hard to reach areas for a more thorough clean
- Variable steam control with overheat protection. Two years guarantee
- Lightweight steam mop: Confidently clean and sanitise your hard floors using just water
- On-demand steam control: Push to pump just the right amount of steam
- Dirt grip pads, machine-washable, reusable microfiber cleaning pads
- Two years extended manufacturer warranty for complete peace of mind (upon registration with Shark)
- Includes: 1 x 375 ml removable water tank, 2 x dirt grip pads
- 10 piece accessory kit includes a wide variety of attachments making it suitable for carpets, hard floors, kitchen, bathroom, upholstery, windows, garments and many other applications.
- Quick and easy to grab and go almost instantly taking just 25 seconds to heat up and with 25 minutes steam time.
- Variable steam control dial lets you adjust the steamer to produce the preferred amount of steam for the job.
- Compact and lightweight, the STM01 is and easy to use and store.
- Multifunctional with removable handheld for convenient and versatile cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best steam mops can be used on practically any hard surface in your home – laminate, ceramic, vinyl, wood and porcelain. Because steam mops don’t make use of any other cleaning solutions (the steam alone lifts the dirt, dust and bacteria), it’s kinder on your surfaces, slowing down the inevitable discolouring, erosion and signs of wear and tear that appear over time but which are accelerated as a result of using chemical cleaners.
You can pick up a basic steam mop for around £30, with combi models starting at around £40. The more expensive steam mop models will likely come with additional features such as variable steam control; overheating protection; predefined floor settings and a range of accessories, setting you back in the region of around £100-£150.