The Ultimate Test: The Best Steam Mops

This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

Until recently, I’ve just used my Swiffer WetJet to clean up spills. Old faithful, that Swiffer. But I always felt like it was doing the most basic surface cleaning, not actually deep cleaning my floors (is it just me?). When I really thought about it, that led to an “ick” factor that I haven’t been able to shake since. Especially since we wear shoes in the house!

I started researching steam mops just to see what was out there and found a lot on Amazon in a similar price range, but couldn’t really find a great comparison on which was best. (You know I love a good product test — see nugget ice makers, knife sharpeners, can openers and hair towel wraps!) So I wanted to take you along for a little product test as I find out which one of these mops can handle the heat (and the mess and the dirt and the grime).

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The Test

To make my test more “scientific” (I use that term loosely), I decided to mop up blue crayon, pink soda, chocolate syrup, and some mud. The test was on our Stuga engineered wood flooring in the office, and I went across each substance a max of five times (up and back counts as one) to see if it would get the messes out. I also looked at other details, from how hard it was to fill the reservoirs, to how they handled, to how loud they were. I even washed the mop heads with OxiClean to see how hard they were to get “clean” again. Spoiler: Let’s just say that the differences there were staggering!

Without further ado, here is my roundup of the best steam mops!

Chris Loves Julia Review of Steam Mops: PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop
  1. Reservoir: This was the only steam mop that had both a pouring device and a funnel — the opening is that small. You have to lay the mop flat to fill it, which wasn’t ideal. I also felt like the latch didn’t close quite as well. 
  2. Clean test: Ok, wow, now I’m impressed. The crayon was entirely gone in five swipes. It had no trouble with the soda and it also cleaned up chocolate and mud in four swipes each.
  3. Mop head: Again, wow. I washed the mop head once and it came out looking almost brand new. Also they’re velcro-attached, which is my favorite.
  4. Overall impressions: I love that the mop head could rotate ¾ of the way around so you can get into tight spaces. The steam was really coming off of this one, and I really felt like it was doing its job. While filling the reservoir was a little fiddly, it was so nice that the mop head got completely clean in the wash. There are attachments that allow this to switch to a handheld machine for cleaning grout and more, which is a plus. It’s also one of the least expensive options, and I can’t get over how it took out the crayon. While it’s not the most aesthetic, this one is the winner to me: 1st place out of 7!
Chris Loves Julia Review of Steam Mops: Shark S7001 Rotating Steam Mop
  1. Reservoir: An angled opening makes it easy to fill while the mop is standing straight up. Gotta love that.
  2. Test: The crayon was just barely visible after five swipes. The chocolate and soda were taken care of in two and three swipes respectively, but any pieces of dirt in the mud were “dispersed” and took some extra coverage to clean.
  3. Mop head: This uses velcro mop pieces that are easy to remove with one hand. After two washes with OxiClean, there still were stains on the mop heads, but they were faint.
  4. Overall impressions: This one is a little more weighty, but because the mop heads are spinning it kind of propels itself so there’s not as much pressure needed to move it. While waiting a minute for the water to heat, make sure you have it in its “locked and upright” position, otherwise it starts spinning, so you have to keep a handle on it. It’s fun to use; I feel like my floors are getting really clean. There are also cool little spotlights on it that brighten up those dark corners. I would use this with liquids, nothing with particles. I’ll put this in 2nd place out of 7.
Chris Loves Julia Review of Steam Mops: Black+Decker 7-in-1 Steam Mop
  1. Reservoir: A little latch opens for filling the reservoir, but the mop needs to be at an angle in order to fill it with water or it spills out. That was a little frustrating.
  2. Test: This one got crayon almost out at five swipes, soda was done in three and chocolate and dirt only took four. 
  3. Mop head: This has a velcro for easy-on, easy-off cleaning. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the stains came out easily in the wash! The mop head looks practically new. 
  4. Overall impressions: There’s a toggle on the front to select the type of floor you’re mopping, but it’s kind of cheap-looking and feels like a kid’s toy. This one is hard stand straight upright. I do like that you can control the steam based on the floor type and it was pretty effective. Lots of attachments so you can get into crevices. This was also the quietest one we tested. This one landed 3rd out of 7.
Chris Loves Julia Review of Steam Mops: Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop
  1. Reservoir: Hmmm…you have to put pressure on either side and lift it up to remove the reservoir, which can be tricky as there’s very little grip. Not satisfying and a little frustrating.
  2. Clean test: The crayon was slightly visible after five swipes. The soda, chocolate, and mud mixtures were absorbed in four swipes each.
  3. Mop head: The elastic band shower cap mop piece is pretty easy to remove/replace. But what I don’t love? The fact that the mop head still looks almost as stained as it did before washing.
  4. Overall impression: This one has the widest surface area, and it uniformly steams the floor. I like the three levels of steam you can choose from (I tested with the strongest level). It’s quieter than some, but a little stickier to push. I’ll give this one 4th place out of 7 for the sizable surface area and steaming qualities.
Chris Loves Julia Review of Steam Mops: Shark S5003D Genius Steam Mop
  1. Reservoir: This one is very easy to fill, and the lid almost feels like a pressurized close, which feels secure and more expensive.
  2. Test: Unfortunately the crayon is still very visible after five swipes. Soda and chocolate were handled in four swipes, but the dirt was not up in five.
  3. Mop head cleaning: You have to thread the mopping piece through both sides so the install is not as easy as the others — downright a pain to put back on. Also the chocolate and mud did not come out in two washes with the OxiClean. 
  4. Overall impressions: It was nice that you get two-sided cleaning action so you don’t have to clean the mop head as often, and the mop head rotates a good 360 degrees for easy maneuvering. However, it was kind of “sticky” to push — I had to use some muscle — and it was one of the louder ones we tested. I also didn’t love that the mop head was a little more fiddly to install, and it is still stained after washing twice. I’ll have to put this one in 5th place out of 7.
Chris Loves Julia Review of Steam Mops: Bissell Powerfresh Slim Steam Mop
  1. Reservoir: There’s a little opening that makes it easy to fill, but the steam mop needs to be leaning against a wall or latched into its wall-mounted position, which makes it more awkward.
  2. Test: The crayon was almost all the way gone after five swipes, just a faint outline. It also felt like it pushed the soda, chocolate syrup and mud more than soaked it up, so I had to circle around the mess more.
  3. Mop head: This one is an elastic band shower cap mop piece, so it’s pretty easy to install. But it did not wash out well so it’s still stained.
  4. Overall impressions. It’s not the heaviest steam mop, but it almost feels like it is because it’s so top-heavy. Plus it’s more taxing on the hand and wrist, as you’re pushing the steam with a button the whole time. There were no clear hooks to wrap up the cord so it was kind of a mess, and it was one of the loudest we handled. I rated this one in 6th place out of 7.
Chris Loves Julia Review of Steam Mops: Shark S1000 Steam Mop
  1. Reservoir: You need to remove the reservoir, unscrew the cap, fill the reservoir, tighten the cap and replace the reservoir. I guess that will make it easy to clean later (if you need to), but I think I prefer filling the tank on the machine itself.
  2. Clean test: The crayon was still prominent after five swipes. The soda was taken care of in three swipes and the chocolate in five. The mud didn’t fare as well with dirt particles left behind.
  3. Mop head: This has a velcro mop head, which I’ve found to be the easiest to work with. But unfortunately after washing it twice, it’s still quite stained. 
  4. Overall impressions: I couldn’t tell if it was working, even though the light was on. Then I realized that you have to push the handle down to emit the steam, but it comes out in quick puffs. I didn’t like how little steam actually seemed to come out and how much effort it took. This one was in last place for me: 7th out of 7.

The winner is…

Hats off to the PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop for the most efficient clean! I could tell the steam was really powerful on this one, and it truly did get every mess up (at a great price point). But don’t shy away from the runner-up, the Shark S7001 Rotating Steam Mop. It’s like a personal Zamboni for your kitchen and so much fun to use. Hope this helps you in your quest to have a cleaner home!

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